The hunger issue that heavily affects Venezuela has generated compulsive anguish within the madurismo regime. This is neither temporary nor transient. It is systemic and cannot be tackled with increases of up to 60% or more of international oil prices or with sudden increases in gold, diamond and coltan production, which without environmental considerations could poison the Orinoco Basin, the most important source of water in the country. It is possible to take advantage of the gold reserves in accordance with the strict environmental measures advocated by the Mines Law Decree No. 295 GO 36687 issued on April 26, 1999. Its article 5 is quite clear, although it has never been applied. It goes like this:
"Mining activities… … will be carried out... in accordance with the principle of sustainable development, environmental conservation and land use."
Gold extraction does without any environmental impact studies. A critical outcry condemns the poisoning of the waters of the Orinoco Basin. Mercury and cyanide are doing terrible harm to them. The so-called fiscal or foreign exchange "salvation" put in the gold would be disastrous if very profound changes that cannot be seen are not applied.
Will Nicolás Maduro leave the presidency before or during the round of talks to be continued on January 12? In view of the tragic crisis the country is going through, the deep scars in both the Government and its United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the persistent failure of a repressive solution for the crisis, the new social outburst throughout the national territory against hunger and the false promises to tackle it, and the imminence of a pari passu default with possible sanctions that would be lethal in its state, have sparked the rumor of his resignation agreed in worthy terms and under the Constitution, if feasible. It is always better to negotiate in accordance with the Constitution, both in spirit and letter, than violating it in front of everybody.
The news became more relevant on the occasion of a meeting of Raúl Gorrín, head of local news channel Globovisión and friend of Maduro, with the Vice President of the U.S., mostly for the coverage given by Miami-based newspaper El Nuevo Herald. In the hands of Gorrín, Globovisión has maintained a certain balance that would give it the freedom to make personal diplomacy Henry Kissinger-style. On the other hand, if he made all that up knowing that it would be denied in the end, it would be good to advise him to go see a specialist in behavioral science. The other possibility is that Maduro had been aware of the matter. I don’t know that for sure.
Personally, I don’t see a solution out of the agenda drawn up by the Dominican president Danilo Medina and other facilitators. Rising up against the Constitution and the international force that has been immersed in the Venezuelan problem would be suicidal. Perhaps the angry reaction of PSUV lawmaker Diosdado Cabello against Gorrín is illustrative? Is there something in the entente cordiale between Mike Pence and Raúl Gorrín that those least interested do not want or are unable to accept?
That is their right, but sparing Venezuela from bloody outcomes is a moral obligation that requires courage. Power in Venezuela is trapped between courage and fear. But is it trapped there for good? What do you think, ladies and gentlemen?