Brussels believes that a postponement could give time to the necessary reforms for the bloc to send observers.
The European Union received an invitation from the Venezuelan regime to send observers to the legislative elections on December 6. Brussels does not delegitimize those elections as it had done on previous occasions. But ask Caracas for a postponement.
On August 11, the European Union said in a statement that it was declining the first invitation of Nicolás Maduro to send observers because the right conditions were not given.
The change in European position may be due to the liberation of 110 opponents, a movement in which European diplomacy was implicated.
With this change, the European Union estimates that it could send electoral observers, thus giving legitimacy to these elections, if the elections are postponed and that extra period is used to make the reforms that make them credible.
The European idea is for Caracas to accept this postponement, which would have the approval of the opposition Henrique Capriles, so that all opponents who so wish can present themselves in these elections and so that guarantees of transparency are given.
A note from Europa Press said this Friday that Europeans would also be asking for “a list of guarantees for the transparency of the electoral process,” among which could be changes in the electoral authority to give credibility to the elections.
European Chancellor Josep Borrell already said that Europe would only send an electoral observation mission (experts in missions of this style and in organizing elections as well as MEPs usually participate in them) as long as “the minimum conditions are met for credible elections, inclusive and transparent ”.
Most European governments recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, but in this matter European diplomacy seems to distance itself from Guaidó’s opinion and to approach Capriles.
Guaidó asked the opposition to boycott the legislative elections on December 6 and denounced that Capriles was legitimizing the Maduro regime. Europe seems to think that Capriles’ position is the correct one if what is sought is to be able to hold clean legislative elections.
European diplomacy will not respond for now to the letter from Caracas inviting to send observers. Borrell will begin a round of negotiations waiting to know if the Maduro regime accepts the postponement they are asking for.
Next week Borrell will meet by videoconference the representatives of the countries that participate in the International Contact Group for Venezuela. They are Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Uruguay for the American continent and Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Sweden for the European.
The release of opponents was applauded, in his own way, by the head of European diplomacy: “The release of a considerable number of political prisoners and deputies persecuted in Venezuela is good news and a sine qua non condition to continue advancing in the organization of free, inclusive and transparent elections ”.
Brussels had so far refused to send electoral observers to Venezuela, but for the first time in many years it is not refusing, but rather asking for a postponement to negotiate the conditions that should be met for it to accept the sending of that mission.
The change of nuance in the position of European diplomacy is supported by the main European governments and by those who have more interest in the Venezuelan situation, such as Spain. Madrid is on the same line as Borrell. This Friday the support from Berlin arrived. A spokeswoman for the head of government Angela Merkel said that her country believes that to solve the Venezuelan crisis it is essential to hold elections “fair, free and truthful.”
The spokesperson did not expressly comment on Maduro’s invitation to Brussels to send electoral observers, but community sources explained Friday afternoon that no capital is frowning on Borrell’s response to request an electoral postponement. This despite the fact that Guaidó wrote to Borrell to tell him that these elections will not have “the minimum conditions for them to be free and inclusive.”