By Luis Manuel Aguana
The way out that the political strategists found in the speech of Congressman Juan Guaidó as the new President of the National Assembly, to elude the hot potato of giving a clear answer to Venezuelans in relation to the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to make up for the absolute lack of the President on January 10 was to change the name of the problem: “As of January 10 we then face the rupture of the Constitutional order and the Presidency is not vacant, it is being usurped and that must be very clear…” (see in Spanish Complete speech by Juan Guaidó, new President of the National Assembly of Venezuela – 01-05-2019)., https://youtu.be/Ob62tsdkbiw, min 36:53).
I imagine the reasoning must have been something like this: “If we say that there is a Power Vacuum – or vacancy – we will have to fill that vacancy because there is no President to appoint, but if we call it usurpation, then the problem is not to appoint a new President but to present the country with a plan to get out of the usurper”, which structurally changes the problem, which makes this declaration and proposal to the country extremely serious for Venezuelans by the new Directive of the National Assembly in the words of Deputy Guaidó, because in that we can take every year of the world with the consequent deepening of the destructive thrust of the dictatorship.
It could be said that the escape window was intelligent for the purpose of evading responsibility, but the question for Venezuelans is, do we or do we not want a new Government to be appointed immediately? This without taking into account the fact that it is not the politicians of the National Assembly who are responsible for describing the legal status of Nicolás Maduro Moros, but the Court that sentenced him to 18 years and 3 months in prison in Ramo Verde, as well as the situation that his sentence generates.
Let us recapitulate the Dispositive of the Sentence of Nicolás Maduro Moros, Chapter X, File SP-2018-001, published on October 29, 2018 (see document of the sentence in the Official Twitter of the legitimate TSJ in, https://twitter.com/TSJ_Legitimo/status/1056859165187076096?s=03, pags. 150-151):
“TENTH: The “institutional vacuum” that exists constitutionally in the Executive Branch in Venezuela is ratified, in accordance with the provisions of Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; and as a consequence of the conviction imposed in this special criminal proceeding, the definitive dismissal of Nicolás Maduro Moros from the position of President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is decreed. International Organizations such as: O.N.U., O.E.A., O.P.E.P. are ordered to be notified, MERCOSUR, the Andean Community, the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Andean Development Corporation, among other international organizations, to the effect that in accordance with Public International Law, the rules of international contracting and Private International Law, the corresponding provisions and measures are taken and adopted, in the sense that Nicolás Maduro Moros is not the legitimate President of Venezuela and is illegally holding the Presidency of the Venezuelan State. Consequently, the treaties and contracts signed by Nicolás Maduro Moros in case, or by interposed persons, will not be legitimate, nor legally valid and in any way commit the Republic, companies and corporations owned by the Venezuelan State. That is all. And so it is decided.
Due to the transcendental nature of this ruling, it is agreed to notify the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for the corresponding constitutional and legal purposes. (underlined by us)
Having already been notified, as the National Assembly was in effect during the last legislature of Omar Barboza, there is little to add institutionally to the fact that it effectively configures a ratification of the “institutional vacuum” that exists constitutionally in the Executive Power in Venezuela, in accordance with the provisions of Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
But now, according to the new legislature that begins on January 5 with Deputy Juan Guaidó at the head, it turns out that Maduro’s law and sentence are changed and there is no longer an “institutional vacuum” which generates the presidential vacancy but “usurpation”, giving way then to a completely different development from the one that should have followed according to Article 233 of the Constitution, bringing as a consequence a different strategy with the 8 points that followed next, which is the really transcendental of Deputy Guaidó’s speech.
After reaffirming in the first point the “illegitimacy and ignorance of Nicolás Maduro as well as the usurpation of the position of the Presidency of the Republic”, all the further development of the strategy is based on the “usurpation” of power as a fundamental point, creating “a Transitional organ for the restitution of constitutional order, the fight against usurpation and the coordination of legitimate authorities, civil society and the National Armed Force” (see in Spanish Eight key points that Guaidó will promote from the National Assembly.https://www.analitica.com/actualidad/actualidad-nacional/ocho-puntos-impulsara-guaido-asamblea-nacional/).
What’s the meaning of this? It is not a Transitional Government as Art. 233 requires of the National Assembly. It is a new entity that would work from the National Assembly to propose a new gestation in the streets against the regime during 2019. They gave a good turn to the matter so that the opposition struggle does not go out of the hands of the political parties of the Assembly even when these are completely discredited to begin with that struggle, in the aspiration that the regime will yield to elections that allow the return of democracy, from inside Venezuela in the same way that happened in the past. But that train has already passed.
The parties of the National Assembly, starting with the one now in the legislature (VP) are (deliberately?) losing sight of the fact that the country’s conditions are not the same as 2014, 2016 and 2017. If there was the slightest chance that a fight on the streets would cause the military to speak out, they would have done so long ago. They do not want to understand that any change in the “status quo” of the prevailing political system, the starving socialism of the 21st century, goes through a strategy that starts from the outside. Their opportunity in the country has passed since January 5, 2016, when they have wasted all the political capital granted to them by the Venezuelan people on the 6D-2015.
However, this does not mean that they will not play an important role in the future. They didn’t want to “wash or lend the bat. They want to embark the Venezuelan people in a struggle with the same characteristics of the past without telling us what makes this time the results different, when they intend to continue using the same strategies. Nobody is saying that we should not undertake it, but that they should tell us a different pod that will make the call credible, beyond creating a new parapet called “Transition organ” without naming Maduro as a substitute. It takes much more than the cries of Deputy Guaidó calling to continue in the same thing that has not worked since a populist discourse.
Now, the approach is clear. Either we continue to engage in the donkey fight against the tiger with a murderous regime that is not mocho and whose next step is to approve a communist constitution in the next few days, taking that National Assembly forward, once again taking a leap into the emptiness, or we undertake a serious struggle from outside the country with the organization of a strong civil resistance inside, whose purpose is not an electoral goal as this collaborationist opposition pretends, but the liberation of a tyranny.
If the National Assembly refuses to appoint those who lead that struggle, then let the next legitimate body do so, which Deputy Guaidó did not even have the institutional courtesy to recognize on behalf of the National Assembly, the Legitim Supreme Court of Justice in exile, which for the annoyance of those politicians was recognized by the Chancellors of the Lima Group in their recent communiqué. Only in this way can we say that we will begin with the liberation of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelans then decide which is the best way.
Caracas, January 6, 2019