Angela Merkel’s statements about the 2014 Minsk Agreements show that NATO’s objective was to give Ukraine time so that the country could be strengthened and better serve as the alliance’s battering ram against Russia. The plot shows that for the West, lies, dishonor, and lack of principles are integral to NATO’s despicable political behavior. Merkel stated that “We all knew that it was a frozen conflict [Ukraine], that the problem was not solved, but it was precisely that which gave Ukraine precious time.” In other words, the West did not use diplomacy for peace, but for war.
These statements were endorsed by former French President François Hollande when he said: “Yes, Angela Merkel is right on this point.” Hollande stated that today’s Ukrainian army is better trained and prepared from a material point of view. This was the “merit of the Minsk Agreements, which gave the Ukrainian army this opportunity.”
Such confessions provoked countless comments… and also silences. In Europe, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that these statements radically change the picture regarding Ukraine and raise the issue of trust.
Vucic is the leader of a country that suffered secession as an outcome of direct NATO intervention. NATO invented Kosovo to gain control of a desired territory in the Balkans. All things considered, it was inevitable that the Serbian president would establish a parallelism between the Minsk Agreements and the Brussels Treaties, which actually paved the way (or determined) the fracture between Serbia and the self-styled Republic of Kosovo. According to Vucic, the accords “turned out to be fraudulent.”
For his part, former Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache said that the Merkel and Hollande confessions cast a long shadow over the word of European politicians. Strache, an Austrian far-right politician, said that the sincerity with which Merkel spoke on the subject is frightening, adding that, in so doing, “European leaders are destroying any basis for trust.”
Nevertheless, despite all this evidence, the UN, which under Secretary Guterres has become an appendage of US, European and NATO interests – as was to be expected – resorted to silence. Stéphane Dujarric, the Secretary General’s spokesperson, shamelessly argued that the event should be left to “historical analysis by journalists, former officials, and historians,” and declined to comment on the Merkel and Hollande statements, adding weight to the idea that the UN has a Secretary General for war, not for peace.
The nuclear agreement between the US and Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be understood on the same register: during his campaign, Joe Biden promised to rejoin the agreement, which had been signed by Obama and abandoned by Trump. To oversee the negotiation that would lead to the renovation of JCPOA, Biden appointed Robert Malley. Nonetheless, Malley did just the opposite.
Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian journalist and geopolitical analyst that focuses on West and Central Asia issues, wrote that JCPOA “was essentially a clone of the Minsk agreements.” With it, Washington gained time to reconfigure its policy towards Iran and West Asia. In this case, according to Escobar, “Tehran never fell into the trap” since Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, whom he describes as “an intelligent geopolitical strategist,” could never trust the United States because “he knew intuitively that whoever succeeded Obama – hawkish Hillary or, as it happened, Trump – would not respect what was signed and ratified by the United Nations.”
It is evident that this practice has become a habit in US foreign policy, and it is now gaining traction when it comes to Venezuela, particularly in the context of the Mexico dialogues between the Venezuelan government and the terrorist sector of the opposition supported by Washington. To that extent, Venezuela should take note of what has happened elsewhere. At the end of the day, the dialogue is happening because Washington and its puppets have failed at overthrowing President Maduro and must now negotiate with those who hold the reins of power in the Caribbean nation.
With this in mind, Washington is using the most retrograde, violent, and anti-democratic sector of the Venezuelan opposition in Mexico while it deploys all the resources and instruments it has in its arsenal, including the “interim government,” which is both anti-constitutional and non-existent in real terms. While the “interim government” has transitioned into an ”interim parliament,” the aggression continues. Interestingly, the decision did not ruffle too many feathers in the majority of the terrorist opposition sector because Guaidó did not carry out an efficient and equitable distribution of the resources obtained from theft.
Nevertheless, Washington continues to demand that its surrogates remain in the Mexico dialogue. However, without an embassy in Caracas, the US finds itself blind, deaf, and mute, so it clings to the only thing that it has to “maintain” its political influence in Venezuela.
Opening up the perspective, the Mexico dialogues are happening as the coercive measures adopted against Russia trigger economic disaster for the US and its allies, but it is still hard to explain to public opinion why OFAC gave the green light so that a US oil company [Chevron] reactivates its operations in Venezuela.
All this sums up why Washington has its pawns keep up with the charade in Mexico. It is only the United States that can make effective an agreement to disburse the hijacked 3.2 billion dollars belonging to Venezuela. The opposition has no real power there.
As it happened in Brussels, Minsk, and with the JCPOA, it is evident that Washington’s objective is to gain time and achieve its goal after the failure of the violent and terrorist strategies. Now the US has to try to unify the opposition so that they will participate with a single candidate in the 2024 presidential elections. They will attempt to secure this with money.
The patience of the Venezuelan people is running out. They will not wait for the remainder of Biden’s presidency – be it three or six years – so that he follows Merkel and Hollande and admits that Mexico was a tactic to buy time. Biden, like all US presidents, is a liar and we know that. We also know that US diplomacy is not based on values or principles, but on the imposition of its will and force.
Venezuela, its people, and its government already know the US: We have learned and will know how to act.
Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein is a geopolitics expert, journalist, and professor with a PhD in Political Science from Venezuela’s Universidad de los Andes. He is the author of 16 books, including De Bush a Trump. De la guerra contra el terrorismo a la guerra comercial and La controversia entre Bolívar e Irvine. El nacimiento de Venezuela como actor internacional.
A former director of International Relations for the Venezuelan presidency and Venezuelan Ambassador to Nicaragua, Rodríguez Gelfenstein is currently a guest researcher at Shanghai University’s Graduate School.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Venezuelanalysis editorial staff.