Venezuela’s interim President—and only legitimate President—Juan Guaidó has sent his emissaries, his ambassadors around the globe to represent his government to other nations, as ambassadors are designated to do. He has sent Otto Gebauer to Germany to represent his government to the German government.
There’s the rub. Germany recognizes Guaidó’s presidency, but that government refuses to recognize his ambassador.
For the purposes of conducting official talks, on March 13 the government described him as the “personal representative of interim President Juan Guaidó….”
The rationalization for this inconsistency has been articulated by the Social Democratic Party’s Helge Lindh (and per his resume, Head of Working Group “Strengthening Foundations” (together with Andreas Bialas MdL):
Recognizing Guaidó was a political decision and a signa. But, in the current situation, it doesn’t make sense to confirm Guaidó’s shadow ambassadors, as that ignores the fact that the power remains with Maduro and his system.
Sadly, Maduro’s ability to cling to power is facilitated by this willingness to continue to recognize—to tacitly support—his power. This paralysis also contributes to Germany’s maintaining Maduro’s policy of denying entry into Venezuela even the most basic survival foods and medicines, solely on the basis of their originating from the wrong nations.
It’s time for Germany to get off the dime, accept Gebauer as Venezuela’s ambassador, and eject the Maduro man.
Germany’s Hans-Joachim Heintze, of the Ruhr University Bochum’s Institute for International Law, is worried about America’s past gunboat diplomacy and doesn’t want Germany to make the same mistakes. This is another misguided rationalization, here borne of Germany’s guilt complex over a four generations removed war.
Still, if Germany truly is worried about our unilateral action (of which there has been very little related to the current crisis), Germany should work with the OAS and with individual South American nations—particularly Brazil and Colombia, who are bearing the brunt of the flow of Venezuelan refugees—to assemble a South American military coalition to enter Venezuela, force Maduro out, and allow the Guaidó government to function.
Dithering serves only to prop up the thug to the continued abuse of the Venezuelan people.