From Opposition Mode to Resistance Mode

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Versión en español

To the memory of the Liberator Simón Bolívar.

One more year of his death without fulfilling one of his last wishes:

“All must work for the inestimable good of the union”…

A confusion arising from my recent note (see At the edge of resistance, in https://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_72.html) -and why some friends thought that they should bury me in a white urn- was that I implied that we were not in resistance, when many groups actually are in that condition against the regime for several years. I clarify that I do not believe that we are still in resistance, and I explain why.

Certainly some groups in Venezuela that understood for a long time that the exit of the regime would not pass through the electoral station, and the struggle against the dictatorship should have a different structure, claim that from that time when they declared themselves in open and covert resistance, the resistance existed. In fact, the persecutions, the deaths, and all the barbarities that the regime has committed have been precisely against those groups considered by castro-chavismo-madurismo as terrorists and destabilizers, with the subsequent persecutions, jails, deaths and violation of human rights.

However, the national country has never been in Resistance Mode, it has been in Opposition Mode, product of this mediocre, corrupt, and unprofessional official opposition leadership that has taken us over and over again to the electoral slaughterhouse, until the same people got upset and said “enough”, not attending the calls of the political parties, whom they have dismissed as valid to resolve the serious crisis that plagues the country.

Knowing this situation, the parties mutated from their political-electoral group called Mesa de la Unidad (MUD) to a group called Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre (FAVL) but to continue doing the same, and restart the cycle but telling the people that now yes, now things have changed, that there is an opposition re-launching “hand in hand with civil society. Greater deception, impossible. They are still “the same musiú with a different cachimbo,” as our grandparents used to say. The political leadership remains the same but with the clothing of civil society. That is not possible to continue to maintain. The parties must assume their role, not hide behind civil society organizations.

From an internal document dated December 12, 2018, attributed to the National Secretariat of the FAVL and which has profusely circulated in the last few hours through social networks, I extract an action of the Frente Amplio from January 10: “To initiate from 10E a process of growing, peaceful, planned and responsible civic disobedience, within the framework of our constitutional rights, that is effective in the objectives that are outlined. In order to achieve this, we will have to establish criteria of gradualness, security, capacity and impact of each action. Each organization of the Front will have to present in the next few days a route of civic disobedience that it itself can execute and that considers all these criteria mentioned.

In other words, it must be civil society that ends up paying the price for the broken dishes of a political leadership that has no idea what to do from the day Maduro decides to unconstitutionally swear himself in as President before his illegitimate Constituent. Impossible greater irresponsibility.

That is why I affirm without any doubt that if this civil society is to be organized, it should not be to follow the “opposition” guidelines of some politicians discredited by the country hidden behind a so-called Frente Amplio, but that they will have to reconsider that position of accompanying this failed leadership to begin to be called Organized Civil Resistance throughout the middle street. And if the leadership of those parties does not accompany them, they will definitely have to put them aside because they play cohabitation.

When a group of students chained themselves in the vicinity of the Cuban Embassy in early 2013 (see https://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/151399/estudiantes-en-la-embajada-de-cuba-exigen-que-si-chavez-puede-gobernar-que-lo-haga-desde-aqui/) in protest of Chávez’s disappearance, because we knew he was in Cuba (later we found out that he had died there in December 2012 and not in March 2013 as the regime sold it) I began to write a series of notes on Nonviolent Struggle (see in Spanish Notes for a Nonviolent Struggle http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/01/apuntes-para-una-lucha-no-violenta.html, http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/01/apuntes-para-una-lucha-no-violenta-ii.html, http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/02/apuntes-para-una-lucha-no-violenta-iii.html, y http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/02/apuntes-para-una-lucha-no-violenta-iv-y.html) with the intention of beginning to introduce the basic concepts of organized struggle based on Nonviolence. I did this because I noticed that there was a disorderly and disjointed way of proceeding against the regime.

At that time I had the perception that the only ones who understood the problem from the beginning had been the students but that we were still a long way from a single, organized civil society movement that would lead to a critical mass that would lead us to successes like those in Egypt and the Arab Spring; but that in no way could they do so if they did not decisively accompany them from civil society merging with them into a single mass and with a single strategy and direction.

From then on, groups that understood Gene Sharp’s concept and tried to apply it arose, but since there was no generalized social accompaniment of the entire population, it would be difficult to succeed. They remained as isolated and radical groups whom political society saw as extremists, which is why they were easy prey of a murderous regime. Society was not in Resistance Mode. It was behaving in Opposition Mode because of the conviction of some parties surrendered and bought by the regime.

The country’s current political situation clearly indicates that as of January 2019, all Venezuelan civil society has the opportunity to switch to the Resistance Mode if it is dislodged from those who have consistently deceived it and assumes that unified leadership that executes the 4 fundamental tasks indicated by Sharp: “a) Strengthen the population in their determination to fight, in self-confidence and in their ability to resist; b) Strengthen social groups and independent institutions; c) Create a powerful force of internal resistance; and d) Develop a comprehensive and conscientious global Strategic Plan for liberation and execute it skillfully”.

This is perfectly possible if everyone is in Resistance Mode. That’s why I think we’ve never been there. A society in resistance is not led like a pig tied to an electoral slaughterhouse, nor is it convinced to follow a concubinage with the regime. If that Broad Front does not conduct itself as a group of delegitimized parties hidden behind a mask of civil society, and without negotiating positions presents us with a “Global Strategic Plan for the Liberation” of Venezuela that we all subscribe to, then we will know that there is a path for the liberation of Venezuela. The rest is more of the same deception…

Caracas, December 17, 2018

Blog: http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/

Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com

Twitter:@laguana