Venezuela on the Verge of Collapse: Economic, Social, and Political Challenges



good afternoon ladies and gentlemen Friends of a free Venezuela you are welcome today's event is dedicated to the Venezuelan people our thoughts and prayers go to one of the victims of the dictatorship their rules today in the country I'm from Costa Rica a small nation which for a long time was in the list of enemies of several dictatorships in Venezuela I remember when in high school planes dark in the skies and rain propaganda for Marcos pérez jiménez military dictator of Venezuela in the 1950s some samples I picked up attacked President Jose Figueres and former Venezuelan president from eluate and put at that point Betancourt was living Costa Rica because he sought asylum in my country over those years the political storms in Venezuela protosun Hussein a string of notable and wonderful professors who were exiled in my country I had one professor from Venezuela in high school and a fantastic professor Julio Gospels I think he stayed in in Costa Rica then as a novel apprentice of journalism I met Carlos on des Paris and also rómulo betancourt he was not meeting somebody very pleased to meet you this is this but I was able to talk to them over the years over the years or months that they were in the country time goes fast but you didn't you don't have listen to my memories of times long ago unfortunately we're not here to celebrate when as well as democracy instead we're here to show our solidarity with Venezuela's suffering at the hands of a brutal dictator and the valiant struggle for freedom being waged in the streets of Caracas and all over the country by the oppressed Venezuelan people meanwhile Maduro spends millions of dollars to pay lobbyists in Washington there are millions and millions and millions we are proud of this reunion here in the heart of the United States our speakers are a top sample of an as well and intellectuals businessmen and freedom fighters as well the speakers will give us their ideas and any possible civil and democratic solution to the country in Venezuela they will speak in this order first Gustavo Paula Mellie then Boris arvalera then ruin patina and finally Gabriela ferry spotted their CVs appearing the programmes when all presentations are completed we'll have a period of questions my sincere thanks to Rachel karcz our director of events for all her efforts to make possible this conference and I thank dr. John Walters Tucson's vice president for his commercial support to these series of conferences on Latin America and without any further ado I welcome without you can speak either where you're seated or here if you have a better company good morning to everyone I would like to start my my talk with a one-minute video that I hope works [Applause] [Applause] [Laughter] and this was prepared for the popular referendum of the last July 16 in which more than 7 million Venezuelans went to vote surprisingly 4,400 Venezuelans voted in Washington I didn't realize that we had so many Venezuelans in in this area I would like to present some very simple slides that we hide my my talk of course they are just ballots so that you at least can see what I want to say I believe the Venezuelan dilemma today is a matter of either talking the talk or walking the walk and I will try to to tell you where we are at this moment Venezuela is a country in ruins if you want to buy some food you will go to the market and you will not find very much to buy if if you want if you go to the dog store and look in looking for a prescription drug odds are that you will not find it if you want to go to the movies you better think twice because every year 26,000 Venezuelans die violently in the streets of Caracas and other cities many of them actually at the hands of the Venezuelan police or the Venezuelan National Guard a high percentage of children are undernourished or roaming the streets as abandoned children the Venezuelan oil company is practically bankrupt actually in a state of technical default it does not pay their providers more than 1 million Venezuelans are abroad actually the the referendum of the July 16 show that 700,000 Venezuelans voted abroad 25,000 Venezuelans cross the boundary into Colombia every day to buy food that they cannot find in Venezuela and and many of those 25,000 do not come back every day so we have a mass immigration from Venezuela into neighboring countries 300 billion dollars that's a very rough estimate of course 300 billion dollars have been stolen from Venezuela during the last 18 years as you can see this has not happened overnight this deterioration of the Venezuelan life has come about in the last 18 years and in those 18 years Venezuela has been a political satellite of Cuba in the beginning Fidel tutored Chavez and now Raul tutors Medora but we are basically in the hands of Cuba as far as political decisions are concerned about 15,000 military Cuban military personnel are in queue are in Venezuela today giving orders and taken into their hands decisions which should be done or made by Venezuelans the country has gone from being a Petro state for many years to be in now a narco-state and this has been done with the help of the army the army actually runs the four main criminal businesses in Venezuela they run the drug traffic they run the contraband of gasoline and diesel oil from Venezuela into Colombia and Brazil they run the food distribution system through which they make in men's profits and they even have a oil company they have an oil company and of course they have no knowledge whatsoever of oil but they contract with the companies that do do the work and they collect kickbacks from Padova so the the Army is an integral integral component of the narco-state in Venezuela now the closing of all doors to electoral events that should have been done already last year and this year have led in Venezuela to an open civic rebellion Venezuela is I would say almost in state of a symmetrical civil war because of course the population has no weapons but they have managed to build or to manufacture homemade bombs or whatever you want to call them but they are in a total state of in in defenseless as related to the to the Armed Forces in in Venezuela at the last count about 110 Venezuelans have died in the protests about 400 Venezuelans are being tried today in military courts although they are civilians about 1,000 Venezuelans are in prison as a result of these protests they are marching today they have a fourth they have started a 48-hour stoppage in all of over the all over the country and and in fact this is an all-out civic rebellion not too different from French style revolution in the sense of popular mass movement is no longer a middle class rebellion is it cuts across social social strata as I said before a popular referendum brought 1 1 7 over 7 million Venezuelans voting against the government calling for the support institutional support of the Armed Forces and calling for the creation of a parallel government in Venezuela parallel government meaning a new tribunal of Justice a new Electoral Council and a new citizens power they call it poder poverty Ivana and in this in these days however in parallel with this popular referendum the regime Maduro has insisted in convoking a constituent assembly a Constituent Assembly by definition would be super constitutional it would have the power to rewrite the Constitution to remove all public employees to name different public and produce in Venezuela in tow in in practice they would have in their hands complete political control of the country and if they do this then the the narco-state would become a communist narco-state while this rebellion is going on and while Maduro is convoking his Constituent Assembly some Venezuelans in Venezuela and some leaders abroad have been what I would call talking the talk that is to say they are making sounds but they are not taking much action included in this group with all their good intentions are the Pope the Obama administration's the international diplomatic community that they have a beautiful diplomatic language which consists in promising many things but doing very very little and in fact this this group this group of leaders is rainforest by Venezuelan groups which are asking today for a foreign understanding with the within Maduro regime let's sit together you know like Venezuelans we are all Venezuelans we are brothers and we should reach some conclusion as to how to form a transition government that will be made up of you guys and we so that we can slowly drift peacefully into democracy of course the this has some merits I personally do not believe in this kind of of negotiation but many leaders in Venezuela or several important leaders in Venezuela are advocating such a solution for Venezuela a negotiation and so our current dilemma the country seems to be rather split not equally of course but split into people who want to negotiate with the Venezuelan regime and those who want to continue in rebellion until the Maduro regime collapse collapses definitely actually in parallel to this some countries like the Alba countries Cuba Nicaragua Bolivia and so on and the Petrocaribe members which have been receiving a lot of oil from Venezuela in the last few years they oppose any sanctions in the OAS against Venezuela so we have a very strong group of countries lobbying in favor of the Maduro regime abroad and a group of important Venezuelan leaders calling for a negotiation with the Maduro regime fortunately I say fortunately some 20 countries in the region led by Canada and Mexico are taking a more positive or a stronger position regarding the Maduro regime in OAS in the OAS and today of course the OAS meeting in order to try once again to to act regarding the the Venezuelan situation for example almagro just published his third report on Venezuela which very clearly says all members of the Venezuelan regime are equally responsible for the crimes which are taking place in in Venezuela the electoral system in Venezuela is the key component of the deterioration of institution democratic institutions in Venezuela he has been very forceful in condemning the Maduro regime so we are now facing what to do next what i have here is just what i think we should do next of course there are all kinds of opinions regarding what we should be doing next in the first place I believe the governments of the region have more than ample information already to retire the diplomatic recognition of the Maduro regime there is no doubt the Maduro regime is totally and the constitutional is illegal it has lost legitimacy the US should apply individual sanctions to the many members of the regime which violate who violate human rights and and who incur in acts of political corruption but I I also proposed or I also favor sanctions against the imports of Venezuelan oil into the United States this is a much more controversial subject and there are many respectable Venezuelans who do not agree with that because they claim that the Venezuelan people would be the one to suffer I say that the suffering of the Venezuelan people right now can hardly be greater no matter what we what actions are being taken by the United States the the way they are behaving for example they are getting the money from the United States for it for the oil and rather than putting this money into improving the Venezuelan situation they pay their depth of bonds except that the bonds are largely in the hole in the hands of their own people some of the largest holders of insulin bonds are the the members of the Venezuelan government so in fact what is going on is the transfer of money from the u.s. into the hands of the Venezuelan into the members of the Venezuelan regime I believe that extreme political pressure should be applied to Cuba because Cuba is a key to the Venezuelan decision-making Castro has to be pressured into telling Maduro we have come to the end of this thing we there is no longer any future in keeping up the pretense of a socialistic regime in in Venezuela and what is going to happen in the next few days I still have a feeling instinctive feeling that Maduro is going to go on national cadena and retire his proposal for a Constituent Assembly which is a grotesque mistake because he already knows that that assembly would be controlled by cabeza who is his main opposition and then he himself would be the victim of the Frankenstein that he has created I have a feeling that he will do that but if he doesn't do that then the Venezuelan side the Democratic Venezuelans are planning a national strike of indefinite length and they are also creating a parallel government that would force the governments abroad to decide which government in Venezuela are we going to recognize so Venezuelans are now walking the walk and I believe that for the international community is time also to walk the walk rather than than keeping talking the talk thank you [Applause] good morning happy to be here I had the honor a privilege to be here with you I'll share some ideas of the year specific role of the military in the current situation in Venezuela but before that I like to express my thanks to the Hudson Institute and particularly to Hamid that emblem for this opportunity to participate in this event and try to explain a little bit what is going on with the military in Venezuela but I'd like to begin since I say when it's all done American I need to put this because everything that I'm going to say here is my own responsibility on his base in my 34 years in the Armed Forces of Venezuela on the continuing analysis of the situation in Venezuela for these 18 years and this is part of the policy of the William Jay Paris Center where I work at National Defense University this is the agenda I prepare for 15 minutes and then I will talk a little bit about the role of the military in Venezuela today which is quite different that the role play but the military back in the last century when I was there the operational context of the military in Venezuela and the component of the military how I do the analysis of any military forces in the world through three components that I will explain how this component work in the case of Venezuela and I will give you the potential in scenario that I see in the short-term but you can release but here is my case the Armed Forces of Venezuela has been trained for in depth affecting the organizational structure of the military during 80 years the Korean government in Venezuela have developed a military policy of politicization of the military changes in the legal framework and capabilities today the armed forces in Venezuela have not been seen as a regular Armed Forces in a democratic country because the Armed Forces of Venezuela are part of the PSU V which is the ruling political party in Venezuela involved in domestic politics another government functions older than the security and defense of the homeland they are in charge of the whole government function in the last 18 years applying populist policies with them our democracy and corruption today Venezuela is the most corrupt country in the Western Hemisphere with the our forces involved in drug trafficking human right violation and real inescapability repleted and I will do my analysis based in these three elements that I'm going to explain to you historical factor the reality today our forces in Venezuela have nothing to do with the troops commanded by Simon Bolivar in the 19th century let's be clear the armed forces of today in Venezuela has been real still to tional eyes in the at the early days of the 20th century but one Vicente Gomez who was the dictator in Venezuela for 27 years and that's our forces were created and raised to to show malice based in the Praetorian activity of the military just to save that government that govern in Venezuela for 27 years because some people ask you how come the simon bolivar his troop that command forces in south america liberating Colombia Ecuador Peru all this country because the Armed Forces and Venezuela today have nothing to do with this is it a point that I wanna make historically honey one thing that we need to know why that happened is because we have a civil war in the 19th century and after the Civil War our country was destroyed and governments are the world to utilize all the elements to get a government function because the country after the world was divided and he came many years after that with another revolution with another constitution just to try to govern the country and he tried and he government you know very tough 27 years the other thing I want to explain with this triangle when you analyze any our forces in any part of the world there are three major elements the four element or one of those is the legal framework and then you have the nature and the other element any capabilities to analyze how that our institution work how they do what they do how they perform their own work what happened in the case of Venezuela with the government which came in 1999 they you star from forming the Armed Forces of Venezuela may your transformation and the transformation is start what changing the law the military law obviously they change first the Constitution and the Constitution remain you know like any democratic constitution where there are forces in charge of the defence and security of the country however they start making changes unconstitutional changes to the military to control the military to change the nature because the nature the military is the origin the reason why you have our forces this is the nature to protect and defend the country yes but they start changing that role in the country not because the Armed Forces will not defend the the country in the case of world no but they establish another role an internal role another reason why you see for so many years you have so many officers in public office doing everything I remember back in 2012 we have more than 250 military officers in government controlling finances controlling health controlling logistic controlling everything in the country and that happened they change the law that affect the nature because the military what happened affect the capability and I remember when President Chavez I so many years ago and he said he send the troops to the borders with the tanks and everything the what because we are going to have a major conflict with Colombia I tell you what in that time the radius capability or the litter in Venezuela was so long no even that tank no even all the tank approach the water and how you are going to use the tank in the border between Venezuela and Colombia particularly India in the West it's a big mountains over there the Indian region you can use it probably in this south with the planing land by the same time is this is a plain land with a lot of water you cannot use it and then you can ask me why a beautiful I need a tank the same reason when Nicaragua got tongues from Russia last year why we spend that money well we spend a lot of money you know buy thing that we will never be able to use but in the case of Venezuela particularly and then you see they changed it all they are frankly nature they affect the capability but they affect how they affect the mind of the officer because they change all the curriculum in the military academies and I had been change in my opinion in order to be able to reestablish the military as a military ready for full dedication to the military activity you will need generations because you can change the tank you can check the airplanes the flag it is a easy you can buy new ones if you want to how you change the mentality I remembered on July the 9th when one of the new officer graduated given an a speech when I when I read that speech I say it that this officer could be a military just because I have a uniform I was a political remarks he was talking about as a politician talking about the Tea Party the Lucian on the military supposed to be by the Constitution a political away from politics but that's not the case in the Venezuela and then I want to finish because I wanna hit time for Q&A and then we can explain a little more and this is the SNR UIC indeed in the first one with Constituent Assembly suspended or not this is what I see the opposition will continue to raise protests in the street the military win probably because the military I so divided inside you can find easy to remain your blocks because what they call the inti to Chanel's military they believe in the democracy believe in the Constitution and the rule of law you find another ones that I call Nene they do nothing yes take wait to see what is going to happen and then pay decisions and you are the other ones affected absorb by politics ruling the institution involved in drug trafficking in human right violations and this is scenario number one and the a scenario number two and this is going to be properly from next Monday on I'd see with the Constitutional Assembly as a protest in the country will continue because even if we don't have the event next Sunday the people will continue doing demonstration because the demonstration is not just for the ku Student Assembly it's more than that the people is fighting in the street for freedom for democracy which is different until this govern don't get out by the rules by the political means out of the power the people will don't stop and the military probably would be involved in the a in the way of their will decide part of the military will decide to say okay I will do nothing I will not participate in this because is unconstitutional but that will not stop the people in the street now the people will stop going to the street when the moment they see that the the Korean government get back to the Constitution come for the elections and the people see the light in the horizon but in this to a scenario and I highlight at the end you can see is too mayor element the military internally and the u.s. outside why the u.s. simple 90 over 95 percent of the income in Venezuela is what they receive from United State for oil and if United State the side to finish that commercial activity with Venezuela that will be hard that the Korean government can continue in power and I think but it says nothing involving this beyond the military activities because when you go to oil you need to see sitcoms in the United State and 49% of Seco today we learn to rest up which is he Russian company we call in this country today Russia oh my god well but look the dimension of this problem because the problem in Venezuela is not just isolated problem just in Venezuela it's not just in the Western Hemisphere it's a global effect and we need to be aware of that I will stop my comments and I will be open and happy to answer any question that you may have in the Q&A thank you [Applause] so good afternoon good to see some familiar faces here it's it's a pleasure to participate in this panel full with interesting speakers all then as well as I am NOT the renovate and so on you have to forgive me summarize some mistakes if I make them my the topic of a well first of all I'd like to to think that's a variable for the invitation the topic of my presentation is about the OAS and and the inter and its inter-american Democratic Charter and its application to the Venezuelan case it has the presentation has three parts one is it's a bit a little bit of a background on the Democratic Charter – it would be it will touch on second part will touch on on development recent developments and in its application to the Venezuelan case and thirdly I will deal a little bit with what the new pressures what new pressures can be put on the Maduro regime particularly to cancel the Constituent Assembly so one of the strengths of the OAS is that it has it's very own instrument to promote and defend democracy that is it has its own democratic inter-american Democratic Charter which was adopted unanimously in 2001 the Charter embodies an unprecedented historic consensus and commitment by the member states to collectively promote and defend democracy whenever it is threatened or interrupted in one of the member states the Charter is it's good to understand that the Charter is the result of a historical process to protect democracy a process that that began in the early 1980s most of the countries returned to democracy in hemisphere to democratic governance and this was reflected in changes made to the aureus charter when member state established that one of the basic fundamental purposes of the organization is the promotion of democracy representative democracy at that in in the Democratic charter of 2001 the member states where it went a little bit farther and convened first of all that the people of the Americas have the right to democracy and the government's the the obligation to protect it to promote it and defend it secondly and without precedent they also have proved that in the event of an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order in one of its members the Secretary General or any member state may convene the permanent Council to undertake a collective assessment of the situation and then take the decisions or actions that they deem appropriate in principle this means that that member states may impose collective or individual sanctions the dramatic economic commercial etc against the transgressor including the extreme measure of suspending that country from the organization in the Venezuelan case however this is a moot point because Maduro already has withdrawn because the country from the organization let me let me now briefly review recent developments related to the to the application of the of the Charter to the to Venezuela the OAS involvement in the Venezuelan crisis began in May of last year when the Secretary General's sent his devastated report on the Venezuelan situation to the primary Council of the OAS invoking the Democratic Charter and asked for it for a meeting to – presented the report a superb remember remember left no doubts that Maduro the Maduro regime had alter the constitutional Democratic order and that the country was undergoing dramatic economic and humanitarian crisis with this action the secretary-general put the Venezuelan situation food and this is significant the Venezuelan situation on the permanent council agenda something which had not happened before however to the disappointment of many the meeting of June 23rd of last year convened to hear his report did not proceed to discuss it and ended without a declaration or a resolution because of the lack of consensus or a majority among the member states but the mere fact the music that the permanent council met to hear it signified that the Charter had been activated at that time several member states still believe that the mediation process being carried out by the by Rodriguez Zapatero luenell Fernandez and Martina Torrijos had a chance and he needed more time to succeed by the end of the year however the the record referendum was successfully obstructed by the government and the mediator Neff and the mediating effort had failed it was obvious to everyone so given that in March of this year the Secretary General updated his report pointed out that violence and repression had increased and that the human Italian and human rights situation had worsened similarly several states between 20 between 14 and 20 of them a group in a group declaration inside or outside the organization had expressed their currently growing concern for the Venezuelan situation and began to demand each time with more resolve the release of political prisoners the calling of elections the recognition the recognition and restoration of the of the National Assembly's powers and the opening of him in China to aggravate matters when they prefers the Venezuelan Supreme Court in an unusual move decided unconstitutionally to assume legislative powers this did not only provoke the condemnation of of most member states but also triggered a call by 20 member states and the secretary-general for an urgent permanent council meeting despite the fact that the that the Supreme Court retracted some of the some of its decisions because of the upper role of the international community the Maduro government could not prevent and try to did the holding of the permanent council meeting of April 3rd neither could the regime and its allies avoid the approval of the resolution which express its profound concern for the grave unconstitutional traditional democratic order in Venezuela and call for its government to ensure its complete restoration this resolution was historic at the OAS of major significance first because I said it had not been done before review the countries refused to do it before they confirmed this resolution confirmed that an alteration of the democratic order had taken place in Venezuela and second for the first time a majority of member states had activated the Democratic Charter against and this is significant against the government of one of its members that had altered the democratic order not just taken power by a coup as he had been traditionally in the case of course the Venezuelan delegation and its allies oppose the resolution arguing that it violated the principle of non intervention and it's it's and the sovereignty of Venezuela and in many US as in many higher occasions the primary council had to endure the strident insolent and and diplomatic behavior of the Venezuelan delegation which insulted the secretary-general berated the organization and cold the members state supporting the resolution lackeys and lapdogs of the US government the Mexican delegation however warned Venezuela and its allies that no one that that one can no longer use the principle of non-intervention to hide alteration of democratic or the original democratic government order and the violations of human rights more recently as we know the situation has wasn't some of our previous speakers mentioned there are now more than close to a hundred dead protesters more than a thousand injured close to 500 detained and more than 500 450 prosecuted in military courts in view of this growing violence and repression and humanitarian crisis on April 26 a majority of member states called for the call a new permanent council meeting but this time this time to decide on a date for a meeting of consultation of foreign ministers this is rather unusual a unique and this despite once again the opposition of the strident furious opposition of the Venezuelan government and its allies allies to make things worse on may 1st Maduro announced the convening of the fraudulent Constitutional Convention to modify the Constitution and to change the system of government into one that would make it much more easy to control the polity and remain in power similar to the communist regime in Cuba essentially this is a move to avoid elections which the regime knows it cannot win any more so the foreign ministers met twice once here in Washington DC and then in Cancun in on on June 19 however again and to the disappointment of many of us in the Democratic community the meeting could not reach consensus or nor a majority of 23 delegations based for a declaration Benson based on on on a proposal by the group of 14 even though it had been negotiated with the Caribbean group only 20 member states voted for it that is the group of 14 plus Bahamas Barbados Belize Guiana and American st. Lucia seven other Caribbean countries did not along with Bolivia Ecuador Haiti Nicaragua and Dominican Republic they all oppose would abstain because of ideological reasons or because of the pressure or if not extortion of the curve of the Venezuelan government but they were all claimed that the proposed declaration violated the principle of non intervention and the sovereignty of an asylum nevertheless and this is important the game at the conclusion of both meetings the group of 14 and this group of 14 is is significant to understand that the composites compositions Argentina Brazil Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica stars needle the United States Guatemala Honduras Mexico Panama Paraguay Peru and Uruguay this this group of 14 produces stern communicate based on their proposed but not adopted declaration the communique expressed their deep concern for the rupture of democratic order and the worsening of humanitarian crisis and call for an end to human rights violations arbitrary detentions tried by the military courts and violence against peaceful demonstrators it also demanded the restoration of the National Assembly's power the release of political prisoners establishment of an electoral calendar the opening of humanitarian channel and the cancellation of the Constitutional Convention this was the most controversial feature of this declaration it offer as well to provide humanitarian assistance and to for a group of member states to facilitate a renewed dialogue and negotiation but with a surprised at this with a surprising released from prison of Leopoldo Lopez in July 8 the regime pretended to reduce the internal pressure from street demonstrations social media and from the international community but instead the pressure has intensified with the previs side of July 16 that rejected the Constitutional Assembly and with recent massive national strikes moreover Argentine countries the group of 14 has again renewed their call and medulla to cancel it and so have the the the European Union Spain France Germany and others the growing violence and humanitarian crisis has compelled the secretary-general to produce another report the third report and has called for an extraordinary meeting of the permanent council to consider the critical situation the meeting is taking place as we speak I'm sorry we have to miss it he has also put out a new edition report this report that he just put out also third report is a condemns condense the the increased repression and the violation of constitutional order but the group of 14 however appears a little bit reluctant to go along with this with the secretary-general call for the new meeting why well simply because they don't they don't feel they are they don't feel they have doubts about the existence of the majority of the even 18 vote to approve the resolution okay so but nevertheless we we have now two forces within the OAS that are pressuring for the restoration of democracy and for an end to repression and tyranny and for an easing of the humanitarian crisis on the one hand we have a very courageous secretary-general i secretary-general who for the first time for the first time at least in my many years of career at the area's openly criticizes and denounces in clear terms the government of a member state and mario has effectively used his limited powers to put the venezuelan issue on the table as i said before and as does elevated the image and relevance of the areas in the defense of democracy he has moved the OAS from irrelevance to the front and center of the international effort to help save democracy in the mall in Venezuela however his public protagonism and kind of a sort of go alone attitude it has not been appreciated by many ambassadors of the member states on the other hand we have for the first time about 14 18 states those 14 the group of 14 and are willing to in are willing to invoke the Charter and I actively denouncing the Maduro government calling for the cancellation of the Constitutional Assembly and pressuring for effective negotiations with international facilitation that would find an immediate solution but these two forces these two forces have to work in harmony within the organization the secretary-general courageous voice valiant voice by itself despite these forcefulness and an impact it's not enough it's not enough to mobilize the organization as a multilateral entity to take effective collective action against the dictatorial government only member states can decide on collective actions now the Secretary General the Secretary General cannot dictate the course of action so so what are the different options now member states have to increase pressure on the regime to restore democracy in Venezuela what are the options most member states have different options inside or outside of the u.s. individually or collectively these are the options particularly after the Clara site I believe it is the time is right to keep pressure in the regime and to show solidarity with your position and the young demonstrators who risk their life their lives every day in on the streets in Venezuela against an overwhelming force and repression in short in the short run the objective should be to prevent the holding of the Constituent Assembly and have the regime accept the g14 demands so here are three alternative pathways to keep the pressure on one within the audience the group of 14 should make every possible diplomatic collective or individual effort to persuade at least the occasional Caribbean allies like bahamas barbados jamaican solution to join it and form a majority in the permanent council called by the secretary-general and approve a resolution similar to the ones proposed in in cancun however and this is my fear that that this will inevitably conclude with a new dialogue a call for renewed dialogue and negotiations the negotiations which the government we know the government might manipulate it and sabotage in the past to avoid elections but this time I think the negotiation should be facilitated by balance impartial group not by the 3x president and the agenda should be about how and when to cancel a constitutional assembly to free political prisoners to restore the power of the National Assembly to respect human rights and the role of the general prosecutor prosecutor to end repression and the military courts facility and to allow humanitarian assistance and to hold old general elections or referendum elections I'm sorry to say are the only logical and democratic solution to the crisis but I suspect and this is I'm sorry to say that it will not be accepted by the regime because it is suicidal leaders know they will lose badly and will have to face criminal charges for abuses and crimes they have committed unless negotiations negotiations of course include immunity and safe passage to Havana or civilian another possible path is a more radical one the g14 could increase pressure by moving to a new more forceful stance against Maduro one that would notify the Maduro government that if failing to cancel the constant the Constituent Assembly it will seek to adopt individual or collective sanctions in principle the preeminent council could authorize member states to adopt collectively or individually punitive measures including sanctions we all remember much member that suspending a non democratic government the ultimate sanction is already allowed by the charter of the organization but it is improbable that members tails will approve such a resolution so in that case a third option is – we have a third option and that is to act outside of the institutional framework of the organization member states collectively or individually within the sovereign rights could adopt certain measures designed to pressure or induce Maduro to move in the direction of the group of 14 demands some countries have already done among the possible collective or individual sanctions we have for example recalling of ambassadors some countries have done that already the suspension of diplomatic relations the non-recognition of the government the expulsion of diplomatic and military attache in an arms embargo including embargo of repressive equipment Brazil has done that already the suspension of exports obviously excluding food and medicine the reduction of suspension of oil the suspension of debt payments the freezing of assets owned by individuals of the regime belonging to the regime as the United States done with the vice-president already been run in vice president and the Supreme Court members and the suspension of credit investment projects or cooperation programs so these are the possible ways for the international community to keep the pressure on if the regime does not cancel the Constituent Assembly so let me finish them by saying that the alternative to these options is to do nothing to remain paralyzed by the lack of consensus and majority or majority in which case the Orias will be perceived again as a failure or useless and irrelevant to the solution of the Venezuelan crisis thank you for listening [Applause] good afternoon ambassador thank you for the invitation I'm not sure yeah this is working okay thank you for the invitation and it's a privilege to be here tonight then also I salute all my colleagues here in the in the panel the great thing to be the last one to speak is that you really gotta shorten your original speech because everything else has been said so and and that's a good thing and the bad thing is that it becomes a challenge to come up with new reflections or new thoughts on what has been said so I'm gonna try to do my best in the ten minutes that I that I have at this time trying to build up a little bit not only on what I had prepared but following up with what my colleagues have have expressed and I would start first talking about the event on next Sunday the the election the fradulent election for the the fradulent Constitutional Assembly I spent a little bit of a time in the last weeks trying to understand the way this bolting and the polling was going to be done and I found two or three things that I thought were interesting worrisome and I really could not come up to a conclusion the first thing is that you vote not with your ID card but you vote with a special new ID that was issued about a year ago called carne de la patria which is an ID fatherland homeland ID that was issued by the government to the Venezuelans who wanted to access to food a sort of like a discount and who wanted to keep their mortgage they had special payments on the mortgage for the homes or they wanted to buy cars whatever was any any of the state that the government could give to the Venezuelans for them to enjoy that they had to get this new ID which we practically would substitute the regular Venezuelan ID what we call sale an identity that when you look at that ID it has a barcode it has a name the front and then in the back it's got two numbers one is called serial number and the other one is called code number and you look at those numbers and somebody thought and occurred to them to feed that number into the Electoral Register it what comes up is their two names two vultures appear and the code and in the serial so for instance I did it I myself I did it with two of those I don't have one of those company that I bother but I knew people that had it and and I went to the web page of the Consejo Nacional electoral the the electoral body and looked into this and fit in the the numbers and the names came of two people one living in in San Felipe the other one living in in T great small towns in Venezuela and you think we'll wait a minute why does this why does this ID holds in the information of two people that vote in specific areas that are registered in that ID that supposedly is owned by that person does that mean that each boat on Sunday it's going to be one for three or what's the reason why that information is there I have no answer but I worry I worry because the trend that we have seen all along in the last 17 years is deceiving is is unethical and it's using any means of power in order to preserve power in the in the government so I would think that given that the government says they have issued 14 million turning the lopata this new ID and for some reason those two names that appear in each one of those IDs will probably multiply and it would be exponential the number of volts perhaps I would think that it's difficult that that event will be cancelled or suspended next Sunday I think they're gonna go through with with with that initiative and that initiative obviously is and I'll pick up something that was now said is the Cubans behind this is all Cuban technology Cuban thought Cuban way of proceeding in order to control the population so probably the outcome is going to be 8 million 10 million that voted that agreed into this this voting process basically you go you don't vote just by the moment that you show your ID and the barcode goes through and you put your finger print basically that's it you have you have agreed to this fraudulent assembly so I would think that probably they will hold it on Sunday and then on Monday or Tuesday when the new assembly will have to go into the legislative body the building and sit there and remove the old Congress or the old National Assembly the current one the one that was elected on 19 2015 in December there's going to be a lot of rioting and there's going to be a lot of civil unrest oh that would escalate much higher than we have seen before and then that comes to the scenarios that yesterday I saw in the Spanish paper and then and this Oppenheim er also came up with with some scenarios that there were there would be three possible scenarios short-term in light of what's happening it's very fluid the situation every day there's a new story so every day the scenario changes a little bit Felipe Gonzalez said that there were three possible short-term scenarios for Venezuela one that Maduro canceled the fraudulent Constitutional Assembly election freeze political prisoners and agrees to hold general elections we I personally don't think that that's possible the number two scenario is a Maduro persistent holding the fraudulent assembly election impacts the National Assembly with his people his cronies and the third ones that the armed forces intervened and forced my doodle to comply with the Venezuela's constitutional chart and this Oppenheimer he said similar to Felipe Gonzalez basically saying that seniors would be Nicaragua Cuba or Syria which pretty much is what Felipe Gonzalez has implied into this I would think that what's happening in Venezuela is out of the box not in the books I think it's it's it's uncharted waters I think it's very unusual when you see that the different actors in in this scenario and and I think that none of those scenarios would really fit what we're seeing in Venezuela at this point I think that perhaps it would be a fourth scenario and it's it's very young it's an adventure on my side to speculate into this but I would think that if the ones that controlled Venezuela which basically are the Cubans in a large to a large extent and the military are submissive to the Cubans I think that we would have to look what is the Cuban interest in staying or leaving or keeping the start of school in Venezuela and and that would take us to look at what's happening with the oil supply and I did a little bit research on that and I've got all that information the things that I found that besides that occupation that secretary-general talks about Cuba in Venezuela he mentions 15,000 Cubans a childís at one point he mentioned it was 40,000 and probably there should be much more than that at this point all of that is in order to control not only Venezuela but the sources the richest sources of Venezuela which is the oil and then when you look that last year as of October November last year and during eight months Venezuela was unable to ship any oil to Cuba then you start thinking that Cubans must be thinking about wait a minute what's happening here maybe this you know the oil industry that's in shambles and really it has basically it's bankrupt and has no maintenance and and it's it's really in shambles so what's the point of staying here going through all the situation and we're not even getting the oil then I found that in response to that Cuba had to by the way they receive about a hundred thousand barrels of crude of Venezuela every day and when the when the shipments stopped they they were forced to go back to Russia and ask for for oil they had to go of course in a rational mode in in Cuba they had to to slash working hours they most of the electricity had to be cut by half they really were in a difficult situation similar to what it happened in early in the early 90s so then um last May Russia exported its first shipment of oil to Cuba it was a tanker of 250,000 barrels of Russian oil which is the first installment of 1.9 barrels to be sent by Russia into Cuba so that makes you think so the stake Cuba is a stakeholder in Venezuela a major stakeholder how are they going to handle this when you also look at what Gustavo was saying the refineries are in a very bad shape many of them are working at less than 30 percent capacity they have no maintenance basically it's going to come up sooner than later this whole thing will collapse so what's the the interest of Cuba at this point and that's an open question is it really that they want to establish communism there or is it really that they want to profit from from the Venezuelan oil but to make things much much more complicated I think that you'd have to look also at other things that are happening in Venezuela which is the connection with Syria with Iran and and obviously as you know the Vice President is Syrian origin and and that brings another set of variables that makes this whole thing very complicated to analyze and to predict at at the end of the day I found a quote from The Wall Street Journal about the vice president and I saw me that said the following one part master of Middle Eastern networking one part honorary Cuban revolutionary and one part highly ambitious chavista mr. Sami is a dream come true for Tehran and Havana that makes him a powerful man in Venezuela I think that summarizes a lot of what is the danger that were looking at in in Venezuela with all these there there are all sorts of reports from foreign policy from oil calm from the State Department from the Justice Department talking about the connections the issuing of passports to terrorists in the Middle East reports on the drug trafficking arms trafficking I mean all these sort of rogue things that are you know we can list them but I also found something that I wanted to share with you that was very interesting it was a it was a testimony at the at the House Committee of Foreign Affairs last year by Joseph Pomeroy a co-author of the Iran strategic penetration in Latin America and he's the founder of the center of secure free society and I extracted from the testimony just to summarize this very complicated intricated relations with with the Middle East over the years Li Sami developed a sophisticated multi-layered financial network that functions as a criminal terrorist pipeline bringing militant Islamists to Venezuela and surrounding countries and sending illicit funds and drugs from Latin America to the Middle East his financial Network consists of close to 40 front companies that owned over 20 properties and cash vehicles real estate and other assets sitting in 36 bank accounts spread throughout Venezuela Panama CUDA South and Lucia southern Florida in Lebanon this network became integrated with the larger Ayman Jumma money-laundering network that used the Lebanese Canadian bank to launder hundreds of millions of dollars and move multi-ton shipments of cocaine on behalf of Colombian and Mexican drug cartels as well as Hezbollah this immigration scheme is suspected to be also in place in Ecuador Nicaragua Bolivia as well as some of the Caribbean countries and then there's still more and more reports of different sources the point is that what we are looking here and I'll try to just summarize you know in a sort of see my conclusion it's extremely complex with all the forces involved in here and to be able to predict what can happen what one can say is that is identified who are the stakeholders at this point and it's not only Maduro and his family but also it's the Cubans it's the military it's the militias that have been beefed up created by Chavez and beefed up by um by Maduro and and all this loose knit thing of the Middle East that we really don't know how much influence there's a lot or less into this I would say that the Cuban because of the influence that they have in the government because of the the ideologic link with the Chavez government and Maduro regime I would think that I would put first on the list that Cuba will call the shots how much is Maduro useful for them till when we don't know there's a big question mark for all of us is why Chavez died and this whole speculation about that he was treated in Havana he put himself in the hands of the Cubans I read one time something to really struck me in one of those books that talked about the ship called grandma that left Cuba and went that left her Mexico sorry and went to Cuba and it was over packed with guerrillas and they faced a storm and they were always there were almost drowned and at that point the book says or the legend says that the Che Guevara had an ass Atok he suffered from asthma and he would go into this sort of special feature like epileptic fits and and the boat was drowning and then the book says and that at one point in time Fidel said we'll throw him out the board because you know we we don't business you know excess weight and I just forgot to get rid of him and for some reason it didn't happen but it struck that thing stayed in my mind and making us lose association with what's happening in Venezuela is how how useful are we as a country a failed country with no oil totally destroyed for the Cubans and that's the big question that I leave to all of you just to to think of thank you [Applause] those who wish to ask a question this race the end I will kindly was a name and affiliation and we'll begin with my name is Nicholas I'm an intern here at the Hudson Institute it came up early that a military coup is unlikely in Venezuela but it was also said that military officials increasingly play a role in government and the military actually has a source of income independent from the government through the criminal enterprises that they run so what you say that a transfer of power to the military is already happening and would that be in the interest of Cuba since the current regime isn't really working out for them who wants to take that question as you mentioned I don't think the military coup because when you see the case of Venezuela remember we're not talking about a government of four years or eight years or four years we're talking about a government the had been in power for 18 years that mean is and when the military in any country when you analyze the behavior of institutional behavior of the military you see is a potential for military coup when the military is outside the problem when the military is not part of the politics in buna in the case of Venezuela it's totally different the military is not an option why is not an option because the military is the problem and they are so divided inside they had the influence of Cubans but they have divided inside and well the politics played out about a case of a Chavez and this governor of Maduro the that you will be loyal to me and I allow you to do whatever you want you can get money you can be corrupt you can be in a move in narco trafficking activities but you for any reason no decide to break with me and nobody longer with me I will put you and I will if I need to kill you I will kill you if not I would put you in pressure in other words in the case of Venezuela the military has been destroyed you change the government tomorrow and you need at least always tell generations and each generation of five years and you have to why five years why not ten years five years because you need to five years to form an educate and military officer another the reason don't see the military today in Venezuela as an a mental institution for exclusive that Asian of the friends of the online no they are involved in politics they are involved in narco trafficking and they are they are the convenience of narco trafficking and terrorist activities and the boss attack as you mentioned before is missed the vice president of Venezuela the convergence of narco trafficking and terrorist activity a good afternoon Alex Sanchez from Russia from Jane's defense and also starred in the youth so it's great to see Generosa weather again no questions for you Yuto tell you about the ideology that I'm interest Brazilian nowadays or for the past 20 years can you talk more about outside influences in the military training for example key-value totally debate about that Archie when instructors training military officers else read about the incident troops going to Bolivia to participate in that and it really cool that Percy Murali has established in Bolivia our have you heard anything about that is this week happening America she will be present Chavez spent billions of dollars keeping his general his I mean as happy by buying weapons from Russia from China is the current crisis affecting this kind of purchases as have it has world of peace force to stop occuring weapons from these countries because he gets us have any money or still are they still going on thank you the and again we need to see what their relationship between the human militaries on the Venezuelan military's when you politicized in military that go inside the mind of the military in the case of Venezuela Cubans with the very Placid of the Venezuelan government have coincided military and they have been from for in the education in the way to think in that way how they are today is a marxist-leninist basic ideology part of that but in the case of Venezuela is even worst because it's not just ideology how they act they are also for corruption because they have been corrupt because the damage done to the military institution in Venezuela that's my my my thought is that would take two four generation and talking about twenty years and anything that you compare with other military in the region last century traditional military coup – always have been worst because what you have a the regime is is totally criminal regime they don't care they don't have any ideology the military has no ideology it's just business the only remaining and hope that I can see is the military those that still believe that they need to follow the Constitution it's a small groups but the others they don't want to get involve and the other one they are so involved that I don't see other thing in the military but as the reason where you see when the military raid the left hand and they say I'm here to protect the revolution no the homeland that that shows you what kinda mentality what the mindset that you have today in the military forces in Venezuela yes sir my name is Wayne Young I'm with Porter Harlem magazine and my question is what were the conditions in the country that led to the situation now the missions were in the country and led to the situation now the dead – what is the situation well that's a long story but but in in a few words in 1998 the Venezuelans believed that the democracy was doing such a poor job that they wanted a radical change from what they had had so far from 1958 to 2000 or to 98 we had a deteriorating democracy it was excellent during the first years and it became very poor during the last half or one third so Venezuelans felt we are ready for change the only thing that they forgot that change is not always for the better and they chose Chavez and Chavez in one year in 1999 destroyed the whole democratic system it eliminated the Congress it it took over tight control of decision-making and and many Venezuelans gave him sign for checking in blank for him because I felt that he wanted to change radically the situation in in Venezuela but it became progressively worse he became a poop a prophet of the of the Cubans because of his idolatry of Fidel Castro and and this situation is now intolerable a-drinkin overnight they become magically it was the very slow process of deterioration I'm happy for my space I pass her to Washington well listening to all of you the feeling is that you've reached Venezuela have reached a hopeless situation and one option one is not an option but one situation you didn't talk about is the possibility of a civil war is there any bad chance that the civil war might eventually appear that being so intolerable the situation that the opposition all those people going down to the street decide to do something by force you talk about civil war you think of Syria and recent times and then you look back into the breaking up of the whole socialist camp and then the the wars the internal wars that came in the 90s and it's a very scary word you know scary description but I did mention the escalation and I do think there's going to be a larger conflict that we have seen at this point how long can that last we don't know but definitely as of August 1st or August 3rd when the new National Assembly or the new post the fraudulent constitutional assembly takes goes in and takes over the in displaces the the old National the cause of Congress we're gonna see a large large escalation of of this and how is gonna play out it's very difficult what we see is that the more repression that there is the more people go out to the streets is not the contrary it's more especially the youngsters and and you hear a lot of you know you hear a lot of them saying you know we rather die than live under communism so we don't care we rather go out there and fight for what we believe which is really heroic and yes the Civil War if you look at one side you have the government and basically the National Guard that it used to be about 70,000 or 60,000 guards now they have beefed it up to one hundred and ten hundred and twenty thousand of them then you have the militias that were originally one hundred thousand and then they have beefed it up to almost half a million of them so you add up those numbers and then you have the rest of the army in the Navy that have not been playing any role at all what's gonna happen to that nobody knows they some of them say that they have no arms anymore that everything was concentrated in the National Guard you know there's a lot of speculation there but you do see you know hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of innocents on the streets willing to fight for this and would that be qualified as a civil war it's I would say that in a low-intensity I don't mean that but it you know that the lives are not worth but but it's a full-blown Civil War it's it's hard to imagine it's hard to imagine although if we have had in three months 100 deaths we might build up those hundred and couple of weeks yeah after after almost I would say I just wanted to add that the situation in Venezuela is far from from being hopeless it would be hopeless if we didn't have the civic rebellion that we are having right now finally the country is marching against the government that is intolerable you cannot tolerate such a government in Venezuela because if you negotiate in any way with these people you're bound to repeat in a few years or a couple of decades the same situation that we have seen so far in this last 18 years the new generation of Venezuelans is magnificent these young people are magnificent III for one I am convinced that Venezuela will will research will resurrect if you wish from these 18 years of disaster I want to clarify something when I mentioned delicious is not malicious like it's paramilitaries but on the government side those are civilians that have been armed by the chavista government so it's that adds up to the National Guard I just want to make sure that that is clear I mean interest and burn with capital partners I think around DC there's been a lot of talk in the past weeks about imposing sanctions on on oil but I think listening to you guys here today I want to look at from the other side and how vulnerable is ped of ASA to the same sort of strikes that are going through the country to the embargo yes yeah actually for for for the u.s. there would be no problem whatsoever in limiting Venezuelan oil imports there is a tremendous amount of oil in the global market in fact they would be it would be more of a problem for the for the u.s. to stop exporting gasoline and diesel oil to Venezuela very few people will know that Venezuela imports 80,000 barrels per day of gasoline from the United States it's like Saudi Arabia importance and for the deserts and the reason is because as Gabriela said the Venezuelan refineries are operating at 30% capacity due to mismanagement and lack of maintenance so there would be no problem the problem in in this oil embargo if you wish is that many Venezuelans believe that it would be contour contour counterproductive for the Venezuelan people because Venezuela is living with the fire with the five billion dollars they get from in cash from the US for their 700,000 barrels per day of oil they sent to the US I feel that what is happening today and I said it before is that the the of maduro is using that money in order to pay international depth we bond depth rather than importing the food that the Venezuelans require so when when you stop paying this guy Maduro what you're going to have is a default by the Venezuelan government within the next three or four months they cannot live without this income so I feel that if I go into a doctor to a dentist getting your tooth out is very painful but it's more painful to have it if for eighteen years with with a toothache and we have been living for eighteen years with a to cake because we refuse to go to the dentist and going to the dentist is what an embargo of oil would mean or to take a radical action about the whole thing and it's time to do it we cannot wait any longer this moment I saw a photograph of ten babies in 1 crib in a hospital in Venezuela because the Venezuelan government has no money to pay for cribs and yet the mother-in-law of one of the ministers of the current government had forty two million dollars in a Swiss bank the Swiss confiscated this morning which is a rare occasion to celebrate but you can imagine the injustice of ten babies in a crib and the mother-in-law of the minister with forty two million dollars in her bank account I don't diminish from that injustice but just to clarify my question I was wondering about what the impact of a potential strike the nationwide strike they think from it from is Venezuela and people's initiative on on pet Ibiza and sort of that conflict between Venezuelans that want oil production to continue versus those that might be best to stop it are most empowered to stop it the engineers whether they might take action yeah what is ready hard to imagine that pay the visa will be worse than it is right now I think strike on pay the visa would only accelerate the default of of Maduro but it is not a critical factor in it in at all excuse me hi me just euro mr. ambassador you know what I see potential for the future of the done Civil War or under this is what I think won that case could be in Venezuela it could be easy okay because you're for Civil War you need to have to part to faction in Venezuela roused 90% of the people in one size and 10% in the other side it's a little small elite criminal elite governing the country within weapons yes our the militaries with the weapons with everything but it's a little a later part of that and then in my personal opinion what I see is a potential situation like Rhonda herb Rose I have a question two questions first of all though the Trump administration is only six months old now have you noticed much of a difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration as far as Venezuela goes and secondly you said that Mexico and the Canada have been more forceful in their actions in what manner have they been more forceful well Canada and Mexico in within the OAS they are the ones apparently they are the leaders of this group that mentioned Ruben about the 14 or 20 countries Mexico and Canada specially Canada has always taken the initiative because they are less cautious than the US administration has been so far and the Obama administration was really very passive and that was you could see that in the behavior of Tom Shannon who was the man in charge of handling this affair of Venezuela he actually up to the last minute he was calling for foreign dialogue that was a total fraud that wouldn't lead to do anything constructive one of the very few things I like about Trump is that he he sounds more positive more forceful about Venezuela than President Obama did but he's threatening actually with with his oil embargo that has everybody warbled in Venezuela thank you very much the today's Financial Times had an interesting column on Venezuelan one of the recommendations of the author who is at ESA in Venezuela was that there needs to be more diplomatic arm-twisting his words I quote and that the the embassies the governments of the region need to get their act together and walk the walk as it were is would it be helpful in in reinforcing that arm-twisting to include Spain the EU other countries that might take an interest outside of just the the countries of the Americas and it's to express really the outrage at the direction that this government has gone in and related to that perhaps none of you have mentioned China which played a very important role in making this by oral government possible and viable economically viable etc what is to be done with China okay Margaret let me answered you the first one yes I think Spain need to play a bigger role we have more than 200,000 in Venezuela in Spanish that is something getting worse in there as well they will go to Spain in Spain no say no because they are Spaniard citizens that's the case I mean Spain is very worried about that because having about 100,000 or more citizen coming to your country you know a short period of time that will create you a mail from an economic problem unemployment not all this can cascade effect it's a one thing yes and his pain has been active and I remember the last summit in Germany the the Prime Minister from Spain was very active with the Mexicans are with Brazilians in that summit trying to bring something to the table about the case of Venezuela okay this is the first thing and then the then the second question that you made is China yes remember we have the hemispheric external actors and then you have China India or Russia and they play a major role because today Venezuela is a mayor hub of the asleeping sale of Hizballah is it one thing and then you say China okay China had nothing to do with this apparently we never know you know it's not like I don't want to say hundred percent that but probably not but it's more than fifty five billion dollars the venezuelan depth with china that made a major concern to china how to get to get that money in the future with another government yes the chinese need to be contacted because same thing with the russians which is different because it a global effect of what happened in Venezuela what I mentioned before idea mentioned China by China is just they don't want to get very involved in politics in the regime change but they have the concern about the economy and the major depth because this it may depth of any country in the Western Hemisphere with China yes and that's yeah just briefly though I think that as I said in my my comments I think it is time to consider sanctions really collectively or individually countries can get together outside of the audience or outside of the UN the 14 the g4 team can impose sanctions I mentioned them diplomatic I gave up a few options but it is time now the question is whether the government will how effective will they be eventually you know with the layoffs will they affect the population or not and how badly or whether the government will budge and change course will it will it will it work but I think it is time it is time for countries to consider sanctions why not yes I like to say something also to the Caribbean nations we have a Canadian course now and I talked to them Monday about this issue and I say today the Caribbean nations the small island state need to come up and say something individually or the CARICOM and they are so quite but the the problem is they are they in the corner because if they don't say anything is something happen what about the Venezuelan diaspora to the Caribbean okay and the drug issues here the numbers vote an airplane capturing those small island state with a lot of drugs coming from Venezuela they are suffering this and I say you stay quiet you do nothing you will suffer what happen in Venezuela if you have the opportunity in this moment to come up and say listen we can not tolerate this anymore because otherwise they are going to be affected because the coming government in Venezuela would say all right you were the smaller a mistake because Petrocaribe is nothing new Venezuela always had helped this small island state with oil with good prices but they are so quite now and then I told them be careful because if you don't do something now then you will suffer same thing us take white I don't see other way they will be Eddy either way they will be affected one final question you know thank you the Venezuelan people are law-abiding and they respect the rule of law this situation that is happening in Venezuela didn't develop overnight but it benefits someone someone is benefiting from this situation in Venezuela who is this someone who's benefiting from this situation and Venezuela is it is it a nation like whose best interests is it in to keep Venezuela in this situation and I say it's in the best interests of the West to keep Venezuela in this situation am I correct well then who who does it benefit let me get that leapin how you see it but today you have in the international arena you have to act normally stay active and stay actors I'm we mention all of us we have mentioned Cuba we are mentioned China we are measure Russia are Sevilla another country that gets some relation would happen in Venezuela but also keep in mind I'll keep one eye in the non-state actors I mentioned before convergence of criminal activities with terrorists the vice president of Venezuela mr. Dodaro Kibeho just to mention – but it's several key member of this government they are related to criminal activity Venezuela is not a democracy in problem is no weak institutions it's criminal government as a criminal government committed criminal activities with the power of the government this is what you get in Venezuela this is the reality that's my own opinion but we haven't seen this in the radio before when a government commits crime an international crime actually you have you have many many mothers-in-law of the ministers depositing their money in Switzerland but but you have an oligarchy that has made millions I I have an estimate of 300 billion dollars that have been transferred from the Venezuelans to the pockets of this oligarchy made up of the Chavez and Maduro members of the gang but you also have the the countries that have benefited from the Chavez government and they are I the ideological brothers of of the socialist or Marxist oriented government of Chavez you know Iran North Korea Gaddafi's Libya you have this collision countries which felt that the the Chavez government was a victory for their ideology many of those guys are gone Gaddafi's gone so that is half gone I mean Hussein is gone oh but but the ideological part of the world that was close to the Venezuelan regime was the beneficiary of these 18 years I'm talking monetarily my oil is going out oil or unrefined is going out and you saw back refined gasoline that's the hub of your whole economy that's the central focus of Venezuela's economy it's oil that's the major product that they have to sell the world and you get back gasoline somebody is taking something off the top of the middle of the bottom and under the table who benefits in that you know no is all this happening is the product of the incompetence of the regime in Venezuela to do is work the refineries in Venezuela we're in excellent condition when Chavez came into power I I was a witness to that now that you're running at 30% capacity and they are probably going away I mean in total disrepair they're the only guilty party on this is the Venezuelan regime the the amount of oil when as well as sending to the US is actually less than half of what they used to send to Venice to the US before chávez came into power we use to export 101 million and a half barrels per day to the u.s. in in the pre Chavez era now we are exporting barely 700,000 who is responsible for that I mean the government in in Venezuela and for the US this is a marginal business considering that the u.s. is is now producing I think 11 or 10 or 11 million barrels a day is we are peanuts now we are no longer in oil power that's the unfortunate situation okay we thank you very much for your attending this afternoon and Wando why don't we close this with a nice round of applause for [Applause]

2 thoughts on “Venezuela on the Verge of Collapse: Economic, Social, and Political Challenges

  1. Передайте Волкеру – пошел он на мужской половой орган.

  2. The whole government is corrupted and has to go. Crimes against Humanity will be tried in The Hague. They are the biggest liars and thieves in the History of Venezuela.

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