Professor Heinz Dieterich currently runs the center of Sciences of transition (CTS, according to its acronym in English) in the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), in city of Mexico. Dieterich is author of the book socialism of the 21st century, and is the co-author of Global Village, together with the renowned American sociologist Noam Chomsky.
DW: What has been the biggest mistake of Nicolas Maduro, would cling to power?
Heinz Dieterich: Without a doubt. But perhaps the biggest mistake was not to modify the political economic model of Hugo Chávez that already in 2010, the fall of oil prices was essentially exhausted. I had to restructure that model and did not do so. The consequences were in the depreciation of the national currency, and the impairment of the well-being of the population. Social programs already could not be financed.
Do refused to see reality?
Yes, that was the first big mistake of Maduro. Not to change the development model and not react to the growing social discontent. It neither changed the political discourse and when all this converged on the parliamentary defeat in elections in 2015, when the opposition won a majority, rather than seeking a new start begins to use police forces to control the situation. It has been a spiral that began in 2011 and now we see come to an end.
What has been the role of Cuban intelligence on mature strategy?
I believe that there were two great errors of Cuba in this process. When Hugo Chávez became ill and was foreseeable that he would need someone who will continue his historical project, there were two proposals. Lula, who then was head of the Government in Brazil, said that the Government of Venezuela was so weak that he had to make alliances with the national bourgeoisie to develop the country and with an economic success could make deeper reforms to the revolution. Fidel Castro, on the other hand, said that Maduro had to radicalize the revolution, and that he should not make commitments with the bourgeoisie, because they would end up betraying him. That was the great shift, in my opinion wrong. Mature decided to follow the proposal of Fidel. The second big mistake was he relied exclusively on the strength of the military. And there they played an important role the Cuban intelligence services.
There was a Venezuelan intelligence functional?
After the coup failed in 2002 against Hugo Chávez, obviously Venezuela did not have intelligence services that work. Cuba assisted with intelligence and of course also with the doctors in the social sphere. The influence of the Cuban security apparatus on Venezuela continues today and in my opinion the Cubans did not understand that this model was going to fail. They did not anticipate that Washington would push towards a change by force if it was done through negotiation. This was a mistake of the intelligence services and the Cuban diplomacy that shared information with Russian, Chinese and Bolivian diplomacy. They never understood that the model was unsustainable for 5 years and then sold to their Governments the optimistic idea that control of Maduro and hair over Venezuela was safe.
They underestimated the situation?
They believed that there was a temporary crisis but that it could be controlled. That was a serious underestimation of the politics of Washington which, of course, became very aggressive with Trump. They were not prepared for that repetition of the coup, the color revolution, as it calls itself, as the one that took place in Ukraine against Víktor Yanukovich. They underestimated the potential of a maneuver of this kind and when they wanted to react, when guided became the Dolphin star of Washington in Venezuela, when proclaimed himself interim President, supported by Washington, it was already too late.
Do you expect a break in the heart of the army’s back to mature?
That rupture has already taken. Washington made an offer through the southern command, the Admiral Craig S. Faller, who guided returned, saying that if the Bolivarian armed forces favor a peaceful resolution of ripe, this can go into exile because does not want a war; that if the armed forces are dropped to mature, you can get to a transitional Government and hold free elections without bloodshed.
And it has been accepted?
That was the offer and I think the generals accepted it. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez made a speech a few days ago which I believe was a coded message for Washington, implying that the high-ranking generals accepted that offer. That they understood that Maduro was sustituible and that a new Government could negotiate with the Empire, with Washington. Now, the verticality of the armed forces remains essentially intact, but of course, there are 150 generals, colonels and military prisons, i.e. discontent in the direction taken by the country and the armed forces under ripe already has several years. The ultimatum of Washington raises sacrifice Maduro or entering a war with Colombia, Brazil, and NATO as allies. This changed the situation.
Have medium and low army commanders suffered firsthand-the same shortcomings as the population?
There has been a high rate of desertion of troops because the living conditions are very deplorable. There are controls means returning to the ideology of Chavez. Middle managers and the troop are chavistas, Bolivarian, non-maduristas. As growing pressure on the role of the armed forces, it will explode this rupture between the corrupt and privileged military leadership, and middle managers and the bottom.