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A new beginning on the international stage for Nicolás Maduro

After his speech at COP 27, Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela, takes a fresh look at the world community. What is expected?

Nicolas Maduro

Photo: kremlin.ru

LatinAmerican Post | David Rivadeneira Soto

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Leer en español: Un nuevo comienzo en el escenario internacional para Nicolás Maduro

Nicolás Maduro Moros, president of Venezuela, spoke at the Climate Change Summit, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, with a speech with which he seeks to renew his image on the international scene. Likewise, in the meeting the president interacted with other rulers and representatives of various states, in what appears to be a strategic attempt by the Venezuelan to re-enter the dynamics of diplomacy and international relations, softening the perception before the community of nations. Although he did not say it directly on this occasion in his words, it is possible that the Venezuelan leader also intends to pave the way after his request, a few days ago, to Antonio Guterres, president of the UN, to once again have a vote in this body.

By delving a little deeper into Maduro's meetings with other leaders, it is possible to review how they took place, and what the subtexts of these handshakes can mean. The analysis of Juan Diego Quezada, correspondent in the Andean region for the newspaper El País, points out that the recorded images of the greeting between Emmanuel Macron and Nicolás Maduro show a brief and cordial approach, in which the Venezuelan president was more effusive, while that his counterpart kept a calmer tone, trying to get closer when speaking to do it more privately.

Macron, through an interpreter, told him that "this path" had to be achieved, in what for the correspondent, and it may be an allusion to the talks in Mexico between the opposition and Chavismo to agree on verifiable elections and with international monitoring, for the 2024 presidential race in Venezuela. Another greeting that was also given at the summit was between Maduro and John Kerry, the United States representative at COP 27. Although about this meeting, Ned Price, the State Department spokesman for the press, said that it was not a scheduled meeting, showing that it was not planned and emerged spontaneously from the Venezuelan side.

Recover The VoteIn The UN And Other Aspirations Of Maduro

These meetings and appearances by Maduro are part of moves in multilateral bodies to echo and regain notoriety from legitimacy. On November 4, in statements to state media, Maduro asked Guterres "(...) to resolve that Venezuela, having the resources, the money, can have the bank account to pay and have the right to vote there in the UN", which he had lost since January due to his debts with the organization. These moves and approaches at COP 27 may be in search of becoming more integrated into the international community, opening up to world support to alleviate internal tensions that delegitimize it.

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The current conditions in South America, with the shift of various governments to the left, have placed the neighborhood in a new geopolitical environment, which, although not favorable to Maduro, because, for example, Boric, the Chilean president, has expressed his criticism for the human rights violations in Venezuela, if it has tipped the balance towards a negotiated solution to the Venezuelan crisis. In particular, with the arrival of Petro to the presidency, relations with the Maduro government, broken in the Duque era, have been resumed, the borders have been reopened and the containment of Venezuela has been proposed with the return to control, the conversation with the opposition and the holding of free elections. Air operations between the two countries have even been restarted, which were inaugurated with the arrival of a Boeing 747 of the airline Turpial Airlines from Caracas to Bogotá.

Oil, COP 27, And Other Factors

On the other hand, in the multi-sided game that is international politics, the war between Russia and Ukraine has moved the chips to re-negotiate Venezuelan oil. Luis Vicente León, director of the consultancy Datanalisis, told BBC News that "in the United States, for some time now, internal forces have been saying that the oil sanctions strategy did not make much sense after so long and its objective was not it was working", that is why a turn of the screw had begun to be noticed in those policies, but all as a result of the crisis of supply and price of crude unleashed by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Finally, all that conjunction of factors that have been mentioned, from Putin's war against Kyiv, putting Venezuelan oil on the list of needs, the new leftist mandates in Latin America, the resumption of relations with Colombia, and the reappearance of Maduro on the international stage as a possible legitimate interlocutor, they have opened the door for it to return to the paths of recovery of democratic values, although this must be handled with great reserve. Maduro must continue to show that he can listen, shaking off shadows like that of Nicaragua, which is increasingly distancing itself from respect for the opposition and the institutions. An example of this would be to return to the Inter-American Human Rights System, which is part of the OAS, as President Petro officially requested a couple of months ago, and another good deed is the declaration at COP 27 of allying with other 9 countries of the Amazon basin to protect it, in a joint proposal with the Colombian leader.