“The main power that the Civic Alliance has is to get up from the table if Ortega tries to prolong the talks unnecessarily or persists in unacceptable positions in the dialogue,” affirms Luis Carrion, a member of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) and of the Blue and White Unity coalition, of which the Civic Alliance is part.
If Ortega fails in the negotiations, he faces more sanctions, international pressure and isolation. The sanctions are there waiting to be applied, he said.
According to Carrion, Ortega has to weigh up very well if he throws this new dialogue to the thrash, and keep in mind that the democratic opposition’s agenda has an “enormous” international support, apart from the national consensus.
“If he (Ortega) does not yield in fundamental aspects, the sanctions will continue as well as the internal pressure,” he predicts.
There are many doubts that Ortega can provide samples of “good will” in the dialogue. Although he released more than 100 political prisoners [of the over 700] prior to the dialogue, most of them are under house arrest and family coexistence. Not complete freedom.
Carrion adds that Ortega is at the limit due to the circumstances. The confluence of the economic crisis, international isolation and sanctions force him to sit at the table, because he did not foresee doing so judging by his narrative of an alleged “coup d’état.”
“He feels weak. He looks in the mirror of Maduro and would like to have the situation resolved before a debacle could occur in Venezuela,” said Carrion, who knew the dictator very well when they were both part of the 9-man FSLN leadership in the 1980s.
Carrion believes Ortega “is feeling the effects of the economic sanctions that have hit his own businesses,” but the international isolation and his strategy of repression “have not been able to defeat the civic resistance.”