Only Dialogue Can Change the Dynamics of Confrontation

Today’s political crisis in Venezuela reveals profound divisions at the heart of Venezuelan society that can only be resolved by that country’s authorities, institutions, political forces, and citizens.  The path to a solution must be found through frank and open dialogue between the principal actors of the government and the opposition concerning the serious economic and political problems that afflict Venezuela.

Political deafness and confrontational attitudes only prolong the conflict, increase the animosity, and increase the number of citizens killed and injured day by day.  The Venezuelan opposition has massive support.  But make no mistake: Venezuela also has a democratically-elected government with significant and visible popular support. Both these facts are undeniable.  The country is profoundly divided.  This complex reality can only be modified with the decision of its principal actors to change their attitude and move towards dialogue.  The crisis will not be resolved from the outside. 

The Venezuelan situation is at the core of OAS concerns.  And while it is not a matter of public record, its diplomatic actions are directed toward what is considered as the only possible solution to the Venezuelan crisis: to achieve a dialogue between the opposing sides.  The final decision is of the Venezuelan people, just as is the responsibility for what might occur.  If both sides sit down at the table with a clear agenda and with an openness to reconcile—to make demands as well as concessions—then they will be much closer to fulfilling the desires of the majority of Venezuelans:  that dialogue bring an end to the violence and the barricades.

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