In Venezuela, Negotiating With Maduro Is the Worst Option—and the Only Hope

In Venezuela, Negotiating With Maduro Is the Worst Option—and the Only Hope
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, March 12, 2020 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

Almost everyone agrees that any solution to Venezuela’s ongoing political, economic and humanitarian crises will require a dialogue among the various actors in the country. That does not mean, however, that everyone agrees dialogue will solve Venezuela’s problems or create the conditions for a political transition. To the contrary, the failure of previous rounds of negotiations—particularly the way in which the government of President Nicolas Maduro has treated them as a stalling tactic—create doubts that any new round of talks will be any more successful.

But negotiations and dialogue, whether they succeed or fail, appear to be a necessary precondition for any change to occur. Even if they don’t lead to direct agreements about a transition of power, they can create the space for pressure, compromise and change. For that reason, even most of the Venezuelan opposition, including Juan Guaido, and the U.S. government have come around to the view that negotiations are necessary. And politicians who have previously derided talks as a useless exercise have come around to including them as part of their demands on the Maduro regime.

That is one reason that Maduro is currently dodging negotiations. He knows that any meaningful dialogue will likely end up loosening his hold on power. For him and his regime, then, it’s easier and more advantageous to hold them out as a potential card to be played—a point of leverage to achieve concessions before even sitting down at the table.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review