By Luis Manuel Aguana
It is certainly difficult to set a topic of analysis in this country. I was beginning to write about the Country Card and gasoline as the 21st century version of the Cuban rationing card, when the National Guardsmen ran out on Avenida Bolívar after an explosion. And it is not that this is not part of the same whole, it is that a citizenry in tension passes from one subject to another without stopping to think that what is happening is part of the same play of the regime’s macabre theatre but in a different act.
Immediately the people stopped talking about the debate on the registration of vehicles to buy gasoline with the Fatherland Card, hopeful with an alleged “attack” against Nicolás Maduro, which the only thing I made clear was the public and television disbanding of those who supposedly “are with the revolution and will defend it until death”. It couldn’t be more pathetic.
I do not want to speculate here whether what happened at that act on Avenida Bolívar was a real attack or not. I wish to focus my argument on something else. In my opinion, Maduro is not the problem. Here the problem is different. If Maduro goes out like that, he will be in charge of someone worse than himself who will be dedicated to pursuing the alleged perpetrators (who they will already know who to blame beforehand) and deepening the Cuban model. The issue here is deeper than attempting against the visible figure without replacing the system that sustains it.
A madman could come and attempt against Maduro, and seen as we saw yesterday, with some guards hitting the race at the first explosion, it seems that this might not be so difficult. If someone had really set out to really kill the character there no one would have had time for anything.
This story reminded me of the words of General (Ej) Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez in his address to the National Assembly after the events of April 2002. To Tarek William Saab’s questions he replied: “So that I did not make any planning, because knowing how I am if I make a planning you would not be sitting in that position Mr. Deputy with all respect. (see interpellation in Spanish at http://www.urru.org/11A/Interpelaciones/NG2.htm). So, if that had been planned by someone with the determination and efficiency to do it, we would now be telling another story.
Why do I say Maduro’s not the problem? Because I have always thought that Nicholas’ enemies are not in opposition, not even in the most radical – here or in exile – they are next to him. Nicolas is the perfect scapegoat for absolutely everything bad that is happening in Venezuela. It is possible that he may get a big cut, but the truth is that the imposition of communism and the general theft of the Nation is not the task of a single person, let alone of a mind like his own. Here we are talking about a team or teams and forces and interests that go far beyond and far away from Miraflores. Maduro is but a puppet of those forces and interests.
If someone from the radical opposition were to come up with an attack, it would be better for them to have the strength not only to succeed in that task, but also to manage the subsequent outcome. And since I believe that they do not have it, I conclude that there has never been such an attack, at least not from the opposition.
Now, who would benefit from Maduro coming out in a violent manner? To those who would replace him in the same way. It looks like a truism, but it’s not. If someone from the inside saw that because of the increasing clumsiness of the person who runs this circus, they were about to lose everything they had stolen and the possibility of continuing to do so, they became the number one enemy of the circus leader. Just imagine how many of them he will have. Any one of them could have tried the Avenida Bolívar scene – if it really happened – to do it seriously later. If this was not the case, the regime took advantage of it in its favour, as they know how to do, in a mediatic way, blaming the “far right” and the “empire” as usual. They are specialists in doing immediate damage control.
At this moment Maduro would be worth (in hypothetical terms) more as a martyr and scapegoat for Venezuela’s disaster than as a workers’ president. That’s how simple things are. The trial against Maduro will continue, and in the course of the investigation taking place in Bogotá, names of both the regime and the ruling opposition will come out. If the trial cannot be stopped, then the socialist machine behind it will think that it is not such a bad idea to make him a martyr of the revolution, as was the case with Allende in Chile, but in this case without losing everything.
In this way, a new phase of the revolution would begin with a new leader who would fiercely pursue the “culprits”, with a new Constitution already in place on the stove of the regime’s illegitimate Constituent Assembly. Certainly if you or I were in Maduro’s shoes, we would be urgently studying an escape plan because what happened on Avenida Bolívar could be a bell from what Llovera Paez finally told Pérez Jiménez: “Let’s go, the neck doesn’t sprout my general”.
And who would be the driver of that hypothetical new phase? I do not know, ask yourself, as did Inspector Columbo: Who benefits? Suddenly that answer comes out of Perogrullo …
Caracas, August 5, 2018