President Nicolás Maduro announced that in the month of August, a dialogue table between the government and the opposition will be set up in Mexico, facilitated by the Kingdom of Norway, and that will have the participation of other governments, possibly even the United States. This is a new opportunity for political factors to find spaces for agreement that allow the country to move towards solving its problems.
This story has its antecedents. There were roundtables in 2016, after the failure of the initiative for a recall referendum against President Maduro; in 2017-2018, after the guarimbas that left 150 dead and hundreds injured; and in 2019, after the “self-proclamation” of Juan Guaidó and the attempted coup on April 30. This last time there were rounds of talks in both Norway and Barbados, but they were suspended due to the intensification of US sanctions against Venezuela. There is also the "National Dialogue Table", which includes political figures and opposition parties that disassociated themselves from the insurrectionary wing led by Leopoldo López.
However, these initiatives did not lead to a solution to the economic and political crisis that Venezuela is experiencing. The current scenario is determined by the economic blockade imposed by the United States, the prospect of regional and local elections scheduled for November 21, and the covid-19 pandemic, which, as in the rest of the world, aggravates and complicates the preceding panorama.
This time, both the Government and the different wings of the opposition, and even the business union, have expressed their willingness to talk with the mediation of the Norwegian government, and with Mexico as the host country.
Given this, we decided to ask our audience about their expectations regarding this new round of political dialogue. We published a digital survey in ultimasnoticias.com.ve and our social networks with the question: "What should be the main topic of the dialogue table that will be installed in Mexico between the government and the opposition?" The response options were: Economic Blockade and Sanctions, Elections, Covid-19 Pandemic and we added a fourth open alternative under the heading "Other", so that the respondents incorporated any additional topic that they considered important to be included in the conversations of Venezuelan political leaders.
What people say?
We got 4.100 unique responses between Monday, July 26, and Thursday, July 29. 71,49% (2.931 people) answered that the economic blockade and sanctions should be the main topic to be discussed in Mexico. We are talking about almost three quarters of the total.
It should be remembered that the blockade has reduced national income by 99%, paralyzing the Venezuelan oil business and causing a crisis that encompasses all sectors of our economy. The population has felt the impact of these measures, as indicated by a survey we carried out in Data UN on April, where 85% affirm that the sanctions affect the entire population.
The health sector has been particularly affected, especially because cancer patients, for example, who receive support from the State, have had to stop their treatment, some of them dying. So the possibility of sanctions being withdrawn it is seen as a crucial issue for the recovery of "normality" in Venezuela.
Those who considered the electoral issue the most important (688 people) represent 16,78% of the population. The elections have been a controversial issue since a sector of the opposition chose to withdraw from politics and assume an insurrectionary stance. However, given the failure of this adventure and all the damage that it has brought to the country, the possibility of settling differences through votes is regaining its importance in all sectors. The regional and local elections on November 21 They are a key point for political actors to meet again on an electoral route for conflict resolution. The formation of a new CNE has contributed to building trust among opponents who now express their enthusiasm for participating.
In addition, the European Union is considering sending an electoral accompaniment mission, which is very important because it will contribute to restoring Venezuela's relations with the so-called “international community”, which were affected by the political ignorance of the government of President Nicolás Maduro as a result of the “Guaidó project”.
A poll of Últimas Noticiascarried out at the end of May showed that more than XNUMX% of the peopleintend to vote on November XNUMX. The success of this day will determine the perspective of future electoral events and, in general, the national political scene.
It's the economy!
The German philosopher Karl Marx said that people need, first of all, to eat, drink, have a roof and dress before they can do politics, science, art, religion, etc. And it is especially in crises when that maxim becomes devastatingly clear. Economic issues largely determine social settings. That is why we can see that, in the midst of a pandemic that has paralyzed the world and plunged hundreds of countries into an unprecedented crisis, people consider it more urgent to deal with the economy and its main obstacles, such as sanctions, than to address the coronavirus problem. In our survey, only XNUMX% (XNUMX people) chose the pandemic as the main topic for dialogue. Venezuela began the vaccination process with those over XNUMX years ago several months ago and recently extended the call to those over XNUMX. The governmenthas announced that between August and September mass vaccination will be deepened, which coincides with the announcement of the Pan American Health Organization that a significant number of Chinese vaccines will arrive in the coming weeksacquired by Venezuela through the Covax mechanism.
The “Other” option of our survey obtained 166 responses, which represents 4,05%. We processed all responses for this alternative to determine which topics dominated opinion in addition to the choices we made. Grouping into categories by affinity, the result was the following:
Taking the 166 responses corresponding to the "Other" option as a total universe, we have that 27,71% (1,12% of the total survey) consider that in Mexico it is necessary to discuss "economic policy"; 24, 69% (1% of the total survey) think they should talk about a “change of government”; 22,3% (0,9% of the total survey) believe that it is important to address the “reinstitutionalization” of the country; 7,23% (0,29% of the total) indicated the social policy (health, education, public services, etc.); 10,84% (0,44% of the total) said that “all” the options were important; and 7,23% (0,29% of the total) expressed that they should not talk about "any" of the issues mentioned or that they rejected the dialogue directly.
As we can see, even in a smaller population, those who did not want to opt for the alternatives offered by the survey, the pattern is repeated that economic issues come first, then political issues, and then social policy. As a corollary, something else should attract everyone's attention. Those who gave indefinite answers of the type "all of the above" and "none of the above" did not reach 1% of the total respondents. In other words, practically all the people are very clear about what they think and consider important regarding the political affairs of the country.