First, we should recognize that dialogue or diplomacy cannot bring a resolution to the Venezuela crisis. By now, it’s evident that the Maduro regime has no intention of negotiating itself out of power and only sees such opportunities as maneuvers to buy time.
Second, we must admit that the only institution capable of instigating a real political transition in Venezuela is the Venezuelan military. As the Economist put it, “[Maduro’s] future will be decided by the armed forces, not directly by the people. If they withdraw support from his beleaguered regime, change will come soon. If not, hunger and repression will continue.”
Of course, no one wants to see a regression to a Latin American Dark Age, in which military coups are the norm, at the expense of civilian rule and democracy. But it is important to note that identifying the Venezuelan military as the only logical change agent is not to advocate for a coup. The fact is, a coup has already taken place — perpetrated by Maduro and his Cuban advisors against the country’s constitution. Only nationalists in the military can restore a legitimate constitutional democracy.