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“Not viable,” experts say about a referendum for Venezuela

The referendum proposal made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, during a meeting of the Lima Group contemplates the technical support of the UN. However, it would require the agreement of Nicolas Maduro.

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By Gabriela Gonzalez.

Venezuela continues to be a topic of conversation in various international bodies. The search for an ideal solution: peaceful, democratic, and through elections, has become an objective for these organisms and also for instances specifically created to attend to the crisis in the country.

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Most active in the Lima Group of political action, which this Tuesday, October 13, held the XX Meeting of Foreign Ministers. During this meeting, the Minister of the Dominican Republic, Roberto Alvarez, proposed that a referendum be held with mediation from the UN itself and other nations and thus advance a transitional government.

Maduro is already pushing his election for 2020, a questioned parliamentary vote that the US and the local opposition have described as an unfair, fraudulent contest whose sole aim is to obliterate the opposition while whitewashing the regime.

Giovanna De Michele, a Venezuelan international relations expert, points out that it is not unreasonable and that it would be feasible to make a consultation with these characteristics since the UN has participated in this kind of event.

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Above all, De Michele explains, in countries in post-conflict times or when there are concern political crises that degenerate into coups d’état or factional governments and these mechanisms help to normalize the political and social climate.

For the expert, it would be a good proposal but is one that requires the approval of Nicolas Maduro since it is consulting about the rejection or acceptance of his management. The requirement makes the idea unviable, not to mention that the UN does not act in a country without the consent of the person who has control of that territory.

Fellow international expert, Luis Daniel Alvarez, agrees that it would be complicated to promote a proposal of this magnitude. Alvarez recalls that in the UN, there are five countries with the right to veto that can torpedo and stop any initiative in the Security Council. “We see General Assembly resolutions, but there is no real applicability,” says Alvarez, also is a doctor in Social Sciences.

For him, the fact that the Dominican Republic has been the country that has carried out a proposal of this type is a sign of concern for what is happening in Venezuela, and that, he says, is favorable.

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Alvarez recalls that international times and actions are different from political times and that the latter follow their path and rules; in the case of the UN, it has several particularities. “This proposal not be taken up. Surely, other countries will invite the Dominican Republic to adhere to the others that already exist,” anticipates the Internationalist for whom the focus should be on achieving an electoral process that is completely revised, and which irregularities that exist today get corrected.

No time for it this year

Another detail that makes unviable this idea tangible is the time since the UN requires at least six months from the time the machine is approved. “Before that, it is impossible, unthinkable. There is no chance that it will be before,” reiterates De Michele.

The expert adds that, in this type of mechanism, the UN could count on the participation of the CNE but under the supervision of the international organizations since it requires institutions in the country to help t organize the event. “But if it were to happen, which I see as unlikely. It is feasible but unlikely,” adds De Michele, given the Venezuelan context.

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