José Daniel Ferrer, General Coordinator, UNPACU. Santiago de Cuba. 29/4/2019.
According to Stephen Richards Covey, author of the best-seller “The seven habits of highly effective people,¨ the third of these important items is to do, ¨first things first¨. And as I am completely sure that, without downplaying any other struggle or event, the main battle for freedom, democracy and respect for human rights on the continent, and possibly on the planet, is being waged today in Venezuela, one of the first actions I do every morning is to find information about the latest events in the homeland of Miranda, Bolívar and Rómulo Gallegos.
Looking for information last Saturday morning I found, in several respectable media outlets, the following: “Ambassadors of Guaidó meet in Colombia to design strategy against Maduro”. “We want to have everything that strategy means to bring countries like Russia and China closer to being part of the solution.” This was told to Reuters by Julio Borges, a famous opposition leader. I was surprised, and alarmed, by the former president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, currently in exile in Bogotá.
I was surprised that Borges talked about a strategy to bring Russia and China closer “so that they are part of the solution”, because it is more than clear that for the regimes of Russia, Cuba, China and Iran, the permanence of Nicolás Maduro in power is as important as it is for the usurper himself and his accomplices Diosdado Cabello and Vladimir Padrino.
Russia not only seeks to collect the huge debt that Maduro has contracted with the Eurasian giant. It also has a lot of interest in oil and other Venezuelan resources, industries and markets. Above all, it seeks to position itself in the American continent in a more solid manner than the defunct Soviet Union once had with the Fidel Castro regime as a spearhead. Nothing matters more to Vladimir Putin than to show his power and influences in Latin America to compete with, and annoy, the United States. What can Juan Guaidó and his allies offer to the former KGB agent and owner of the second military superpower for him to withdraw his support for Nicolás Maduro?
For China, Venezuela’s main creditor, the most important item is oil, which is so necessary to maintain its economic growth. But it also has geopolitical ambitions. Latin America is key to their plans. With their growing influence in the area they send a clear message to the United States: “We are strong too and we are getting very close.” Although the Chinese are more pragmatic than the Russians, if they were assured that by withdrawing their support from Maduro and giving it to Guaidó, they would collect every penny of their debt, would continue to receive oil on advantageous terms and there would be security for all their investments, they would think twice before deciding. A Venezuelan opposition that has its main ally in the US does not inspire confidence.
But there is a third actor who was not mentioned by Julio Borges, who has a collapsed economy, who has always lived parasitically, but still with strong influence in Venezuela and other Latin American countries, and an important ally of the two great powers of the Old World. An actor that has influenced more the destiny of this Caribbean nation during the last two decades than Russia and China together. An actor very responsible for the serious crisis in the country with the largest oil reserves, for whom the end of the Maduro regime weighs too much. An actor who would have to be given much more than to Putin and Xi Jinping to abandon their main partner. We are speaking, obviously, of the Cuban regime.
Before assessing what could be offered by Guaidó and allies to the Castro regime, which alarms me, it is necessary to remember that the regimes of Venezuela, Cuba, Russia, China and Iran, hate the US and any democratic nation that signals them as enemies of freedom and violators of human rights. These antidemocratic regimes know very well how to close ranks to defend their interests. Something that the United States and its allies do not generally do very well. So I doubt that if they are not offered “enough”, which would be too much anyway, at least for Putin, Xi Jinping and Raúl Castro, the ambassadors of Guaidó waste their time looking for strategies to bring Russia and China closer to be part of the solution.
At this point, we would have to think that Julio Borges’ approach was too naive, or that some macabre stew has been cooking to satisfy the voracious appetite of Castro, Putin and Xi Jinping in exchange for abandoning an inept Nicolás Maduro. What would that dish be made of to satisfy all three? Undoubtedly, it would have to be a more damaging pact for the Cuban people, and more shameful than the Kennedy-Khrushchev Pact, thanks to which the long slavery that we have suffered in Martí’s homeland was sealed.
We already know that Russia should be offered inconceivable advantages and China, assurances that it does not believe. But what should be given to the Castro regime? The US would have to reverse the current policy of Donald Trump and guarantee greater concessions than those made by Barack Obama to the oldest and most damaging dictatorship in the hemisphere. If to get out of the predicament he got when he said that in the solution of the Venezuelan case “all options (were) on the table”, the US president would yield in such a way, the “solution” of the crisis in Venezuela would be the most pyrrhic victory of all times. No reasonable voter of Cuban origin would vote for the Republican candidate in the next elections.
But let’s be proactive – the first habit of highly effective people – all of us lovers of freedom and democracy. Let’s think that Guaidó, his ambassadors, the US and other allies of the president in charge, are smart, firm and honest enough not to fall into shameful pacts with undemocratic regimes.
The strategies to put an end to the criminal dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro will never have the support of Russia and very unlikely to receive that of China. The Castro-communist regime is the matrix of evil on the continent and no concession is to be made. Freedom is also in danger in Mexico with Andrés Manuel López Obrador and if Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns to the presidency of Argentina, the axis of evil in the continent will be strengthened again. And this is not contemplating that Bernie Sanders reaches the White House.
And now, let’s work tirelessly and with renewed energy for freedom and against current and future tyrannies!