委内瑞拉:危险的蛰伏
委内瑞拉:危险的蛰伏
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
Briefing 31 / Latin America & Caribbean

委内瑞拉:危险的蛰伏

概述

在委内瑞拉反对派示威者、安全部队和平民武装分子间的暴力冲突持续了几个月,造成40多人死亡后,各大城市的街道现在大多恢复了平静。但是危机并没有结束。反对派要求释放几十名在暴乱中被关进监狱的活动分子,并结束对2000多人的起诉威胁。造成对峙的根本原因并没有得到解决,恢复司法独立及其它主要部门自主性的呼吁也没有被采纳。经济衰退造成生活水平持续下降;暴力犯罪继续维持在历史高度,劳工骚乱和由低劣公共服务引发的抗议活动通常被粗暴对待。国际社会需要更加努力,把各方拉回谈判桌,因为如果不进行对话,进一步的暴力冲突迟早可能发生。

在南美洲国家联盟和梵蒂冈的促进下,委内瑞拉政府和反对党民主团结联盟曾进行过谈判,不过在2014年5月,民主团结联盟以政府镇压抗议学生为由宣布“冻结”谈判,导致谈判破裂。民主团结联盟和执政的委内瑞拉统一社会党内部都出现了的分歧,民主团结联盟的执行秘书和副执行秘书更是在最近辞职,这些都使重开谈判变得更为复杂。负责陪同谈判的南美洲国家联盟的外长们(巴西,哥伦比亚和厄瓜多尔)在谈判破裂不久后同双方见过面,但此后再没有正式会晤。

国际社会依然重要的任务是促进政治对话并建议如何在悬而未决的问题上达成协议。南美洲国家联盟最近任命新秘书长应能带来新一轮助力。此外,来自联合国的技术和政治支持也将使这个区域性组织受益匪浅,因为联合国在为公共政策和法律改革提供建议方面经验要丰富得多,也曾在2002年为委内瑞拉提供过这类咨询。联合国最初可着力加强南美洲国家联盟提供分析和政策建议能力,在后期则可将精力转向协助设计有公信力的谈判框架上。谈判双方以及委内瑞拉整个社会都会从中获益。很显然,反对派需要有一个公正的观察方来提供保证,而政府在面对一些艰难抉择时也需要引入像南美洲国家联盟这样的有公信力的外部角色来支持自己的立场,从而获益。

在还未完成的任务中,最棘手的是任命德高望重且独立的人物来执掌最高法院、选举机构和其它在宪法上独立的国家机构,这一过程在首轮谈判中获得了推动,但现在则面临陷入停滞的危险。由于委内瑞拉政府的声望在危机中受损,建立能够完成宪法所赋予的职责的独立机构就变得比以往更加至关重要。

如同国际危机组织从五月以来提出的,国际社会——特别是南美国家联盟,但也包括联合国系统——需要:

  • 敦促双方就任命重要法制机构新成员达成简明可行的时间框架和值得信赖的机制;
     
  • 敦促政府释放因非暴力政治抗议而被拘捕的人;
     
  • 呼吁反对派重申将完全通过符合宪法的手段达到目的的立场,并采取相应行动;以及
     
  • 通过南美国家联盟并在联合国系统的支持下,加倍努力帮助委内瑞拉走出目前的两极化状态,以在这个依然处于危机的国家促进民主、人权和稳定。

加拉加斯/波哥大/布鲁塞尔 2014年9月23日

I. Overview

The streets of Venezuela’s major cities are now largely calm, following several months of violent clashes between opposition demonstrators, security forces and civilian gunmen that left more than 40 dead. The crisis, however, is not over. The opposition is demanding freedom for several dozen activists jailed during the unrest and an end to the threat of prosecution against more than 2,000. The underlying causes have not been addressed, and calls to restore autonomy and independence to the justice system and other key institutions have not been heeded. Living standards continue to decline due to economic recession; violent crime remains at record levels, and labour unrest and protests over poor-quality public services are often dealt with harshly. Greater international efforts are required to bring the sides back to the negotiating table, since the alternative to dialogue is likely to be further violence sooner or later.

Talks between the government and leaders of the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) alliance, facilitated by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Vatican broke down in May 2014, when the MUD announced a “freeze” on its participation, citing repression of student protesters. The internal dissent faced by the MUD – whose executive secretary and deputy executive secretary recently resigned – and the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has further complicated returning the parties to negotiations. The UNASUR foreign ministers charged with accompanying the process (from Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador) have not formally met with them since shortly after the talks broke down.

It remains important for the international community to play a role in facilitating the political dialogue and to suggest avenues for agreement on pending tasks. The recent appointment of a new UNASUR Secretary General should provide a renewed impetus. Furthermore, this regional organisation would greatly benefit from technical and political support from the UN system, which has much greater experience of advising on public policies and legal reforms, as it did in Venezuela in 2002. This assistance might initially focus, for example, on reinforcing the capacity of UNASUR to produce analysis and policy recommendations and, at a later stage, on helping to design a credible framework for talks. Both sides, as well as Venezuelan society at large, would benefit. The opposition clearly requires an impartial observer, able to offer reassurances, while the government would benefit by bringing in credible external actors, such as UNASUR, to bolster it in some of the difficult decisions it faces.

The most urgent of the pending tasks is to complete the appointment of respected, independent figures to the Supreme Court (TSJ), the electoral authority (CNE) and other constitutionally autonomous state bodies – a process that received a boost from the initial round of talks but now threatens to become bogged down. With the government’s popularity suffering in the crisis, the need for autonomous institutions capable of fulfilling their constitutional roles is becoming ever more critical.

As Crisis Group has argued since May, the international community – particularly UNASUR but including also the UN system – needs to:

  • press both sides to agree on a concise, viable timeframe and a trustworthy mechanism for appointing new members of the key rule-of-law institutions;
     
  • urge the government to release those detained for non-violent political protest;
     
  • call on the opposition to reassert and act on its commitment to resort exclusively to constitutional channels; and
     
  • redouble, through UNASUR and with the assistance of the UN system, efforts to help Venezuela move beyond its current polarisation in order to promote democracy, human rights and stability in a country still very much in crisis.

Caracas/Bogotá/Brussels, 23 September 2014

Street vendors -many of them Venezuelans- confront members of the Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron (ESMAD) after they were not allowed to continue working, in Cucuta, Colombia, near the Venezuelan border, on March 29, 2022. Schneyder Mendoza / AFP

Hard Times in a Safe Haven: Protecting Venezuelan Migrants in Colombia

In recent years, Venezuelans have streamed into Colombia looking for work and respite from their country’s socio-economic meltdown. But dangers also await them, including the clutches of organised crime. Bogotá’s change of government is a chance to reset policy to keep the migrants safer.

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