By Luis Manuel Aguana
I will not tire of quoting Leoncio Martínez “Leo” in his editorial in the weekly magazine “Fantoches” of 26 September 1936 entitled “The Meaning of the Popular Masses” (see in spanish the reproduction of this historic editorial in http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2011/06/el-significado-de-las-masas-populares.html) when trying to explain the behavior of the popular masses, and especially what happened in the presidential elections of May 20.
The immortal “Leo” wrote: “Often the mass leaders are simply amanuenses of the popular dictates, instruments used by the public conscience, in which the people take advantage of the technical quality of knowing how to speak or know how to write or how to project. It would seem that many times the leader is something like the axis of transmission that mobilizes all the pieces of a workshop, but that would not be able to animate all that mechanism if it were not powered by the impulse of a single generator of energies “. (underlined our)
Could it be said that the people did not vote in dictatorship on Sunday, May 20th, encouraged by some mobilizing leadership of “all the pieces of a workshop”, which would generate all the energy capable of producing what happened that day? No doubt you don’t. Each person acted in conscience according to a situation that he considered hostile to his own life, not because some political “leader” convinced him to do so in one way or another. Each Venezuelan acted according to his or her own conscience, all of them, Chavista-maturists and opponents, even those who bravely did not allow themselves to be extorted for food.
But then Leoncio Martínez continues with a concept that showed his profound knowledge of the Venezuelan political reality and that, although still in force, is not fully understood by the political class despite 80 years of being formulated: “The peoples do not follow their agitators but those who embody a unanimous aspiration of the majority. People do not know agitators but interpreters, so they follow those who promise them food when they are hungry, those who speak to them of justice when they feel oppressed, and even those who promise them revenge when they feel they are victims. They followed Boves because Boves promised them revenge for the deception of the unfulfilled promises of those who signed the 1811 Act, because Boves offered them the looting and the battle in retaliation against “the Mantuan” and against the “white Creole” who had taken over everything that was supposed to happen to the people. But then they followed Bolívar, because the Liberator was much better at concretizing aspirations, defining them in the words of a well formulated doctrine that already reigned in Europe, called Democracy. Boves, as an interpreter, translated only the passionate, barbaric, almost animal question that was shaken in the soul of the mass; Bolívar, reached more deeply, more deeply into the root of the public spirit and, instead of inviting for the crazy and unbridled attempt, he presented a total and concrete program, a faithful interpreter of everything that was desired”.
Who are the interpreters of what happened on May 20? This people acted ALONE on March 20, individually and collectively, following their conscience, and giving a masterly lesson in politics to their opposition leadership who feel that they were left in the hands of criminals. So why does everyone now think they own this decision of the Venezuelan people? Who will be in charge of being the interpreter of the Venezuelan reality of this moment after this new regime heist? This mediocre leadership that got us into this mess? What will be the political approach to be taken by the country in order to channel “the momentum of a single energy generator”, which is only in the hands of the sovereign people? If the current political leadership believes that the mere fact of being an “opponent” of the regime constitutes enough credentials to get out of it, appropriating a flag that belongs only to the people, we will have Maduro and his communist system of the Fatherland Plan for many more years to come. It is not enough to say “I will do better”. It takes more than that.
In my opinion, Venezuela is struggling between two very serious problems that prevent it from turning the page of the 20th century: Maduro and his narcoterrorist-Castrocommunist mafia and the thunderous lack of interpreters who propose something with which the popular masses feel identified, beyond wanting to get out of these delinquents who govern Venezuela. On the other side of Maduro’s sidewalk there is a void that is felt all over the country, and that just because it exists prevents us from moving towards real change.
“Leo” already said it: the same popular mass that followed Boves, then followed Bolivar. However, the same popular mass that followed Chávez, although diminished and barely continues to follow Maduro, because he is still in government and pays those who accompany him, does not get enough reasons to follow any of the opponents. What is the proposal of this “opposition”? Go back to 1998? Messianic leadership of “take off you and put on me”? It takes a lot more than that to get the mass to change sidewalk for good.
Some time ago I stated in this blog that we could say without fail that the latest Plan aimed at improving the living conditions of Venezuelans was devised by young people with communist ideas a little over 83 years ago, with the intention of leaving a primitive country, ruled by a dictatorship of people who were born in the nineteenth century, and who have all died of old age, and whose heirs have done nothing but take advantage of the country that left it. That was the Barranquilla Plan written in 1931.
The last point of the Programme for the execution of the Barranquilla Plan established that “within a period of no more than one year, a Constituent Assembly will be convened to elect a provisional government, to reform the constitution, to revise the laws that demand it most urgently and to issue the necessary laws to solve the political, social and economic problems that the revolution will put on the agenda”. From this Plan emerged the Constituent Assembly of 1947 (see full text in http://220.127.116.11/SVI/images/stories/rb/pdf/barranquilla.pdf). Does this effort look familiar to you?
There the Adecos, who were the majority of the authors of this Plan, resolved in this Constituent Assembly the civil rights and living conditions of a primitive country, under the ideology of men and women who saw beyond the navel of their personal aspirations. After that, NO ONE, not even the Adecos themselves, had any plans to refound the country. After gaining power and sharing it with their companions from 1961 onwards, they milked the cow so much that they killed it in 1998.
Well, that vision of the founders of democracy was the one that the country followed as a uniform popular mass, to the point that in 1961 that Plan became a reality and the country was relaunched into a different era of fundamental changes, far from heaps and military coups… until 1992.
How long did the masses of people accompany this vision? Until it became extinct at the hands of its creators and heirs, some of the latter alive and kicking, who now intend to continue to live off the cow that died in 1998. It is time for a new vision, for a new Project that inspires and moves Venezuelans of this great popular mass, and for new interpreters to carry it out. It’s time for a new plan. It is time for the masses of people to find “those who embody the unanimous aspiration of the majority”, as “Leo” said in 1936. It is up to us to convince the Venezuelans of this and to make it a reality when they all try to take credit for an abstention that has no owner…
Caracas, May 22, 2018