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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America


By Beatrice E. Rangel

It would do extreme good for the parties at odds in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America to remember that their hold to geography is at odds with geopolitics and the current historical stage of our civilization. Indeed. As the cognoscenti define the concept, geopolitics is "the interplay of natural resources, strategic dominance and geographic space on the one hand, and the various state and non-state actors pursuing individual as well as collective interests on the other".

First among any other nationals in the region that should swiftly switch from 19th century sovereignty delusions to the reality of geopolitics are the Venezuelans from both sides of the ideological divide.

The Venezuelan government's obstinate clinging to a Samson strategy fails to realize that this will not protect the sole interest its leaders are defending: impunity.

The Venezuela opposition, for its part, by concentrating its moves -- in a game that they deem to be chess but that really is more like bocce -- does not realize that the all-encompassing meltdown surrounding them moves several decades forward the likelihood that they will be government.

To be sure, as the geographic space occupied by Venezuela increasingly becomes a raving volcano, various state and non-state actors will begin to collide in pursuance of an international intervention anchored in the sole group that could guarantee governance whatever its content or operational structure.

And as of today it does not seem likely that one of the 4,000 plus generals recorded in Bloomberg View are being considered by the civil society in Venezuela or the international community to run the country.

But under conditions of a an international humanitarian crisis severely affecting Colombia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are Dutch territories and are just off Venezuela's shore) and to a lesser extent Guyana, an international intervention with blue berets could trigger the emergence of a lower rank military government up and until people stop looting and killing each other and return to whatever is left from their homes.

Recent history is a testament to this unhappy ending. Remember Kosovo, Rwanda-Burundi and Sudan.

Ideally the international community would chose to turn the clock back and reopen the United Nations Trusteeship Council to place under its control all failed states. But given that this no longer is an option, the international community will simply anchor its prophylactic measures on a local group that can guarantee governance.

And while we do not know yet who this group will be, it does not look like the government or opposition leadership could be part of it.

The silver bullet to prevent this ending would, of course, be dialogue and negotiation.

And several proposals have been flying around the Venezuelan crisis -- the most serious and substantive of them being the Vatican backed proposal rejected by President Maduro.

Thereafter two more are on the table: One sponsored by a presidential trio (former Presidents Rodriguez-Zapatero; Fernandez and Torrijos) and that of the Russian Foreign Ministry backed by the head of the orthodox Church and perhaps the Vatican's back door to reenter the stage and prevent the detonation of the fourth historic chaos in Venezuela.

Of these two, the Russian would seem to be most interesting. At least from the intellectual viewpoint.

Indeed, for someone who could master geopolitics, the Russian proposal could be the guiding ribbon to exit the labyrinth.

Russia is far removed from Latin America -- its only interest being to have a pawn to exchange with the U.S. in the global balance of power play. Thus the Russians will not hold any interest in being part of the new Venezuela.

Second, the Vatican initiative could be revisited.

Third, Gazprom could be a good balance to Chinese interests in energy. The drawback could of course be that Russia acts as proxy for Cuba. But this risk has already been discounted by the Venezuelans who have sat at a negotiating table with three heads of state close to that country and perhaps as unfamiliar with geopolitics as themselves.


Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.



Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

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Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon

Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”

Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes

Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory

Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


 

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