By Luis Manuel Aguana
The new staging carried out by the MUD/Frente Amplio at the UCV last Monday, November 26, through the so-called Congreso Nacional Venezuela Libre, had as particular touch the political strategy increasingly used by the official opposition, to present their proposals to Venezuelans, using main spokespersons not belonging to the political parties, so that these are not rejected by the country, because of the discredit of the opposition political class, and especially after the corruption scandal Gorrin-Andrade, which have persistently refused to discuss in the National Assembly. It will be for a reason…
But in this very special opportunity, the official voice in the UCV was led by Father Luis Ugalde, former Rector of the UCAB, and his words were of special importance: “In the same way today, Venezuela is in labor pains and it needs to be born again: politics, economy, society, the soul of Venezuela, we need to be born again. It is not a question of small superficial changes, but of being reborn profoundly, in Spirit and in Truth, leaving behind regrettable political practices of the past and the present … “(See Speech by Luis Ugalde S.J. in Spanish in the National Congress of Venezuela Libre, in http://www.cesarmiguelrondon.com/intereses/tambien-sucede/discurso-congreso-nacional-venezuela-libre-2018-luis-ugalde/).
I couldn’t agree more with Father Ugalde’s words that Venezuela has to be reborn, leaving behind the “regrettable political practices of the past and the present…”. That should be so. However, the sad thing is that what happened at UCV on November 26 is just the opposite of those words.
The strategy of re-launching, using the protective mantle of civil society, a completely discredited political class that insists on not wanting to clarify what happened to the real that Raúl Gorrin distributed right and left in Venezuela, could not precisely be catalogued as leaving behind “the political practices of the past and the present”.
But the country is desperate for change, even knowing who the proponents of that change are. They prefer that to business as usual. The country is even sold a magic date, January 10, which recalls the famous “six months to get out of the regime” of Henry Ramos Allup’s speech that January 5, 2016. No one remembered that Maduro has not been president of Venezuela since January 9, 2017 for Abandonment of Office, a situation corroborated by a firm ruling by the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice that declared him corrupt on October 29, 2018 for having proven his own corruption and legitimacy of capital, which is creating from now on, not January 10, 2019, a power vacuum that must be filled immediately.
Hence, Father Ugalde, who has become the new main spokesperson for the MUD, emphasizes in his speech: “Everyone with their eyes and actions set on the necessary and constitutional change of government on January 10, 2019. The change will come, not because the dictatorship facilitates it, but because the mobilization of the entire Venezuela that wants to be reborn and recover life will become unstoppable, with unity in diversity, and freedom will reverberate with productive and creative democratic plurality”.
Again in agreement with Father Ugalde. That is our wish, but not for January 10, 2019, but since January 9, 2017 when the National Assembly declared the Abandonment of Office and did not call the then Vice President Tarek El Aissami to occupy the Presidency of the Republic temporarily and call for general elections in the next 30 days as the Constitution prescribes. Was there a change since then to this part that we did not realize? Is it that now the military are going to intervene?
But it is not only the date January 10, 2019 that Father Ugalde announces to us in his speech of the UCV and practically all the political class, it is the detail of the conformation of the transitional government that he now explains to us in his last article published in El Nacional (see El Nacional “Gobierno de transición y elección presidencial”, in Spanish). http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/columnista/gobierno-transicion-eleccion-presidencial_261547): “In the formation of the transitional government the legitimate AN has a central role and in its integration there must be a decisive and credible participation of the business world, of the democratic Armed Force, of an outstanding woman in social struggles or in the world of work and of some significant person of the “process”; all determined and with previous commitment on the basic measures and democratic elections, with an economic model capable of obtaining strong international support and stimulating national production and recovering investment”.
There the MUD is clearly telling us through Father Ugalde that on January 10, 2019, there would be an agreement between the official opposition and the regime so that someone “in the process,” which at this moment I suppose must be negotiated, would be part of that transition. That is to say, a hidden dialogue to produce that change. Because otherwise it could not be understood that the government would allow itself to be substituted by the mere fact that the constitutional period ended.
And if that character “of the process” proposed by Father Ugalde is not of the regime but of the so-called “chavismo light”, it is clear that he must have sufficient grounds to say that there will be a change of government supported by a military force to subdue the regime. And I don’t think he has them because he would otherwise have been imprisoned in the SEBIN. The regime has its headquarters well controlled, as shown by the dozens of military prisoners. But as the old military saying goes, “the military are loyal until they stop being so. And so far they have not had enough reasons to stop being so. On what does Father Ugalde base himself to conclude that they will stop being so on January 10?
From the military option Larrazábal II proposed by Father Ugalde in December 2016 (http://www.noticierodigital.com/2016/12/padre-luis-ugalde-sin-apoyo-militar-no-salimos-de-esta-dictadura-ni-recuperamos-la-democracia/) to the proposal of that Junta there is a quantum leap, especially because it does so without explaining the small detail that in order to change the regime one needs the help of those who have the rifles, as he said in December 2016, trusting that the mere participation of “the democratic Armed Force” in the Junta will be enough.
In my last note of 2015 I commented that I had heard for the first time a concept in the IESA more than 20 years ago: “A self-fulfilling or self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that, once made, is in itself the cause of it becoming a reality” (see Self-fulfilling Prophecy in https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profec%C3%ADa_autocumplida). It’s incredibly interesting how they’ve applied that to us Venezuelans over and over again without realizing it.
Father Ugalde is decreeing this transition, in the hope that the political and military support of this process will present itself in the way only with its own formulation. And I think that’s extremely irresponsible as everything that bears the seal of the MUD. It would be another serious disappointment for the Venezuelan people. Father Ugalde intends to force the country to a self-fulfilling prophecy, which, if it were to happen, would initiate a process of change where the MUD/Frente Amplio would survive its serious extinction problem that is being condemned, not only for having betrayed Venezuelans on repeated occasions, but also for its insistence not to leave behind the “regrettable political practices of the past and the present” as Father Ugalde paradoxically indicated in his UCV speech.
That plan to first hold a Congress that unifies a proposal from “civil society” makes the MUD’s bed after the fact to force a state of return to “street leadership” -which it lost because it betrayed us on July 16, 2017- that supposedly would be generated when that change prophesied for January 10, 2019 was not fulfilled. An open and clear manipulation of that civil society that they pretend to deceive again. Do they need more blood in the streets to recover lost leadership? Is this a new assembly based on a promise that they know beforehand that they will not fulfill? But the regime also plays. Maduro announced that he will be sworn in on January 10 in his Constituent and will begin the final coup of approval of the constitutional communist bodrio in the very short term. That would disappear the National Assembly and screw the regime.
I believe it is far from the convenience of Venezuelans, Father Luis Ugalde himself and the Venezuelan Catholic Church that this distinguished educator has become a political operator and spokesman for the MUD. It is a harmful and toxic role for us. And that happens when roles are confused and that circumstance is taken advantage of by the merchants of politics to use whoever they are to achieve their ends. Using a political operator of the stature of Father Ugalde, the MUD hides behind the prestige of that cassock and frees itself from any error that makes them the target of citizen contempt. According to this criterion, no one would dare to blame or demonize the decisions made by this front disguised as the Church, since this is the most prestigious institution in the country. Perhaps the most convenient thing would be for Father Ugalde to hang up his habits and devote himself entirely to politics with the MUD party, before anything happens that we all regret.
And that would be a big mistake. Venezuela desperately needs its politicians to assume their responsibilities and openly face the good, bad, regular or lousy judgment of its citizens, and for intellectuals and thinkers to fulfill their mission of guidance, especially if they are priests of the stature of Father Ugalde. Without that no one knows what game we are in, increasing the confusion of the people and lengthening painfully the serious crisis we are suffering. Only in this way can we be reborn profoundly “in Spirit and in Truth,” as Father Ugalde clearly stated for the Venezuelans.
Caracas, December 2, 2018