A citizen’s weapon

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Versión en español

One of the most recurrent questions and observations from the public in the interview conducted by José Domingo Blanco, Mingo, in his RCR750 program on October 15 (see in Spanish RCR750 – Por todos los medios, martes 15/10/2019, en https://youtu.be/VgYy07LB3_Y) Dr. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León and Ing. Enrique Colmenares Finol, main Directors of the National Constituent Alliance, ANCO, referred to the fact that the proposal we are making is naïve or even worse unfeasible. Because, where do these naive people (not to say idiots) come from to propose a consultation in the midst of the most ferocious tyranny, which has provoked the largest exodus from the continent, a consultation with a people dying of hunger, dying of diseases? How are they going to do it? They are crazy! And listening to Dr. Mármol and Ing. Colmenares with only a few minutes to answer, I think I’ll eat my nails up to my elbows.


And unfortunately that’s the first impression. And as we all know, first impressions kill. And that first impression can really kill this offspring that is being born as a real possibility for the recovery of freedom in Venezuela.


And the explanation is not easy and the first thing people remember are the bad experiences where politicians destroyed with their feet what we in civil society built with our hands on July 16, 2017, where the first thing they did was to say that our consultation was not binding, when that popular expression is perfectly contemplated in Article 5 of the 1999 Constitution as a manifestation of the direct exercise of Popular Sovereignty. With that consultation they were able to remove Maduro from the exercise of power, relying on that mandate from the citizens’ votes, and then decided on a Transitional Government, with all the support of the International Community, manifested that same day.


In other words, what happened to Juan Guaidó on July 16, 2017, without the votes of the Venezuelans, could have been done with the backing of that popular consultation, saving this people a lot of suffering in the last two years. But the official opposition sold his mother for a pair of flip-flops. Instead of doing that and taking away the domino of a won game, they traded for an election for Governors and Mayors (Regional Elections on October 15, 2017), thus negotiating the popular will.


So it was the Popular Consultation that was to blame that those who should collect what the people ordered, did not do the 16J? The consultation was the means, the instrument to put the regime on the scaffold, but there was not the necessary political height in the conduction of the official opposition to finish closing the rope around the neck of the criminals of the regime and finish hanging them. Those who claim that “another consultation is not necessary” are blind instruments of those who do not want to be put back into that situation and hanged by the will of the people.


But that’s only part of the story. Let’s go to the present. We do know that a Popular Consultation puts the regime on the scaffold of Venezuela’s history, but we also know that the regime has been in charge of destroying the country to such an extent that allowing what happened on 16J is an illusion. For them that cannot happen again. That could happen because the official opposition negotiated the consultation before the 16J with the people on the streets, with the consideration of going to regional elections in October 2017, only that the regime was met with a resounding rejection in votes capable of removing it in that consultation, and the lack of an official opposition with the necessary political greatness did the rest.


To this extent we have made it clear that it is not a consultation of the sovereign itself that is the problem. And now, at this precise moment, the problem focuses on two things: 1) that the mandate of the Depositary of Sovereignty be expressed, and 2) that it be fulfilled.


How would the sovereign people be able to express themselves in the midst of tyranny? That would be the first step. The answer is that we must first build a Popular Consultation, which we know is an instrument for the direct exercise of Popular Sovereignty, and turn it into a citizen’s weapon. We Venezuelans are currently unable to fire that citizen weapon. But we can build it. It is we, no one else, who can do it because only Venezuelans know what can be applied in Venezuela. No country can do it for us. And that is what we have done at ANCO, to build a citizen’s weapon. But how and who fires it?

We have come to the logical conclusion that this citizen weapon should be aimed at the regime from outside the country and force it to submit to the trial of Venezuelans. We don’t think that’s crazy if we are accompanied from the outside by all the countries that supported the government of the President in Charge. But to be counted in the terms that are defined in the device designed, and that Dr. Mármol and Ing. Colmenares explained very well in Mingo’s program. All the pressure exerted on the regime from outside by friendly countries would be for a single purpose, to get the people to express themselves, not in an election, but in a Popular Plebiscite Consultation in the terms proposed.

We wish to describe those terms to friendly countries so that they understand the scope of what we are proposing, because when they speak of “elections” to solve the Venezuelan problem, what they are trying to express is that the people pronounce themselves in a peaceful, constitutional and electoral manner and that cannot be done in Venezuela given the state of institutional destruction of the country’s public powers -including the electoral one- and it must be explained to them that this can only be done by resorting to Popular Sovereignty in its purest expression: that the people tell themselves through the mechanisms established by the Constitution itself, this being a much more valid instrument than elections.

A diffuse pressure with no precise objective, simply to force the regime to abandon power, as friendly countries have been doing from abroad, what it has done is to screw it even more, causing a change in the behavior of economic factors in Venezuela. The continuous and massive exodus of productive Venezuelans has produced a distortion that helps Maduro remain in power: The exchange of income for oil to income for remittances, which makes the population have been “accommodating” to their new condition of country maintained, not now by the State through the oil rent, but maintained by their own direct relatives from abroad, What he has done is to get the situation in Venezuela into a vicious circle, which is very well taken advantage of in favor of the continuity of Maduro and his thieves in power, and also by those economic sectors that have historically benefited from all the governments of the past and the present, which force the situation to persist.

How does this perverse dynamic stop? That from outside the regime is imposed to be counted inside and outside Venezuela through a Popular Constitutional Consultation, with the credible threat of greater sanctions, including a humanitarian military intervention. We Venezuelans do not want to live begging for help from the world, but we cannot get out of this situation alone. The citizen weapon that we have designed can only be imposed and fired, if it is the case, by the International Community. And once the Consultation has taken place, that is, after the regime has acceded to the pressure subjected to the continuous punitive measures and credible threats, the Venezuelans in that Consultation would establish the authorization to the world so that the mandate of the sovereign people is fulfilled in case the regime ignores it. In other words, the expression of the people and its fulfillment would go hand in hand.

We need that Popular Plebiscite Consultation, not only as an expression of the self-determination of our people to live in freedom but to order on the part of the Depositary of Sovereignty what must happen in Venezuela after the fall of the regime, giving popular support to the provisions of the National Assembly’s Law that governs the Transition of February 5. The Popular Plebiscite Consultation is a citizen weapon designed not only to order the expulsion of the regime from power but also to guarantee the support of the people for that decision. That is what the International Community must understand to help us impose it on the country and enforce it. It is not only a naïve dream, but a possible proposal if all Venezuelans support it and make it known outside and inside the country.

Caracas, October 20, 2019

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Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com

Twitter:@laguana