Bern, settlement “Murifeld”. Here is the former Swiss Ambassador Walter Suter (76) lives. The district is considered to be in the left pocket of resistance. The fits to the man who was four years for Switzerland in Venezuela and a point of view on the problems has, transverse to the common views of most of the Western States. The economy of the country, to the Suter’s heart still lies on the ground. In the country with the largest Oil reserves in the world, more than 80 percent of the people live in poverty today.


Walter Suter: It began to be better. Venezuela was the Saudi Arabia of South America. The price of oil began to rise. Well it went to the end of the 90s, only about 25 percent of the people. The longer-term redistribution of wealth was a very important concern of Chávez.


at the Least, a gigantic experiment. The Basis for this is the “Bolivarian” Constitution in 1999 – adopted by the people, by the way, by means of a Referendum. First, the government education and health care wanted for all of them. The cost of this has taken Chavez to resolve the social inequality. Since it has achieved between 2003 and 2010, the poverty rate fell by 30, 40 percent to 20.


The number seems to me too high. And now, of course, created an emergency situation, because the price of Oil in 2014 fell.

Chávez ?
He has brought the people hope for a better future. For example, he has ensured that millions of unregistered Venezuelan papers. These were fully-fledged citizens with all the Rights. Through the creation of grassroots, democratic local councils, all citizens have a voice. There, Chávez has achieved something Big. This is, in retrospect, went a little under.

Maduro ?
I think not. Quite a lot of circumstances have been very difficult for the successor. But all, Maduro included, wanted to Chávez’ social project. After the oil price fall it was also problematic, as the USA in 2017 began, hard economic and financial sanctions.


Venezuela has to absorb the loss of Income from the oil export and may, in addition, hardly any loans to, or act. This leads to an under-supply. And then the Hyperinflation: There is this American website, DolarToday, which defines the black-market exchange rate for dollars. The local prices – even as the price fell faster and faster. (Editor’s note. d. Red. The company calculated the daily exchange rate of the Venezuelan Bolivar in Euro or US dollars. The calculation is based on the trading fees in Cúcuta, Colombia, a city near the border with Venezuela.)


it has begun, the minimum wage, to adapt and to get out of the Dollar. She has introduced the crypto-currency Petro and started to put in the international payment traffic on the Chinese Yuan.


This is not correct. The election process since 2003 is the same. The Latin American election expert advice Ceela ensures that the heading of the ballot, the Constitution is moderate. The electoral process has been automated and observer missions hundreds of times in a controlled manner. The results are waterproof. I, myself, between participated 2008 and 2018, seven Times as an election observer.


These accusations are largely baseless. The different, to the whole country distributed election observer groups have not detected any unauthorized or systematic influence on the voters.


This prevents the automated election process. Maduro was elected last year in a fair procedure.


I don’t want to comment on what decides our government’s foreign policy. But it is unusual, that makes Switzerland the Takeover of the protection mandate is made public before the approval of Venezuela. Finally, it is an intermediary between two parties.


Maduro’s obviously firmly in the saddle. This applies as long as the armed forces are behind him and he continues to enjoy the confidence of six million PSUV voters. A crucial Change would be a real split in the army – but then it’s not. There’s a stalemate, it remains the situation.


The USA should lift its sanctions immediately and then as a mediator. Mexico and Uruguay have proposed a Four-phase mechanism, which is welcomed by the head of state Maduro: dialogue of all political bearings, the negotiation phase, an agreement, and implementation. In my opinion, the negotiation process would lead to early parliamentary elections. Which would be normally provided anyway for the end of 2020.

Walter Suter (76) is a man of the transitions: whenever there was a political upheaval, he was for Switzerland as Ambassador. As a former employee of the diplomatic service of the FDFA, he knows, among other things, the China of the cultural revolution, the Lebanon in the reconstruction, and since 1970 in the change in dividend at the end of South America. From September 2003 to August 2007 he was the official representative of Switzerland in Venezuela and remained in the country after Retirement, closely connected.