By Luis Manuel Aguana
I do not want to describe as a “victory” this momentous milestone of yesterday when the legitimate Supreme Court ruled in favor of a radical change in the Venezuelan electoral system (see “Legitimate” Supreme Court declares the use of automated voting for elections in Venezuela null and void, in spanish at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2018/06/tribunal-supremo-de-justicia-declara.html), because to make it effective we still have to continue doing what Adriana Vigilanza (@adrianavigi), author in exile of the electoral recourse that produced the sentence, has been doing for many years: working, working, working and continuing to work so that there can be substantial changes in the way things are done in Venezuela.
In this long war, I cannot fail to remember the most valuable people who have left an indelible mark, because they were there – and in some ways still are – and without their contribution it would have been difficult for any judge to have ruled in favour of this change. Countless public letters and meetings with politicians demanding Authentic Elections were held with Eric Ekvall, died in the middle of this electoral fight when we needed him most, the main complainant of the complicity of the MUD in the fraud of the 2004 recall; Iñaki Gainzarain, mathematician and columnist, profound political analyst of the fissures of technical fraud and tenacious critic of the actions of the CNE, from his blog Gainza&Edmat Winds and BitakoraEva; the tireless José Méndez, an energy expert engineer, who has not ceased to insist and provide evidence at the International Criminal Court, that what is happening to us has its origin in the electoral crimes perpetrated in the CNE and that these should also be considered as crimes of Lesa Humanidad; Pablo Brito Altamira and Luisa Elena Vidaurre, the main promoters of the Declaración de Caracas, Coalición por la Independencia y el Progreso and founders of the NGO Por La Conciencia, who fought in their time for this recognition of yesterday’s Authentic Elections and a fundamental change in the Venezuelan electoral system, to the extraordinary people of the State of Táchira, authors of that report reviewed in this blog, “Algo bueno paso en el Táchira” in 2012, extraordinary technicians who signed under the pseudonym Plinio Vargas; and of course, it is impossible not to remember the disappeared Carlos Lee Blanco, a distinguished Venezuelan university professor, he is the driving force behind all initiatives for institutional change in electoral matters.
Maybe some of them remain in the inkwell who have collaborated in this struggle that begins to see its fruits with today’s sentence of the legitimate TSJ. I just wanted to remember those who with their efforts have made the difference, and to whom Venezuela owes a deep recognition. Many people, many memories in this long action that is just beginning with specific objectives achieved, starting with this historic sentence that declares void the use of voting and automated scrutiny in Venezuela.
But as I mentioned, this is only the beginning. We must continue to work, work and work much more. We must not forget that this struggle is not only against the electoral system that this regime has imposed on us for more than 14 years, but also against its alleged heirs, who are still calling for elections without wanting to modify in a single millimetre this technical-political monotony that subjugates democracy and freedom in Venezuela, and who wish to use it for their own ends. That is why what is at stake here is much more than is superficially perceived.
The politicians of the MUD-Frente Amplio remain committed to convincing Venezuelans to embark on another electoral process “with conditions” without explaining that those “conditions” are impossible to achieve without another electoral system. That first we have to close that anne called CNE, reform the root of the system, and then appoint new authorities that can give Venezuelans confidence that they are choosing their representatives with maximum reliability.
But that is not what is being raised here with the official opposition. They intend to continue using this system but with “other Rectors” and other “electoral conditions”. All of them, without exception, are calling for elections but without taking a look at the small detail that the system does not serve as evidenced by the historic ruling of the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice, and from there the main importance of making it known to the whole world, especially to those countries that, without knowing the inner workings of this cage-trap that is the CNE, believe that we will get out of this serious crisis only by holding elections with “electoral conditions”. As a political friend told me, just because more than 3 million Venezuelans have left the country, you can’t go to another electoral process because it would violate their right to participate.
As the sentence implies, in Venezuela, NO MORE ELECTIONS CAN BE CARRIED OUT until the electoral system is changed and the electoral laws and regulations necessary to comply with this declaration of NULLNESS of the automated voting and counting system for the election of the positions of popular representation of the Public Powers and other elections are reformed. In other words, as requested, and declared IN PLACE, “No elections can be held in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela until there is an arbitrator (the National Electoral Council) and a voting and counting system that allows them to be held as’genuine’ elections, in accordance with the Constitution of the RBV (sic) and the Human Rights Treaties recognized by it”. A morning rooster doesn’t crow lighter.
So let them stop saying, writing, declaring, demonstrating, communicating, all the spokesmen of the official opposition, including those from the Catholic Church who do so in good faith, that what we must do in Venezuela is ask for more elections “with conditions”. Please, that’s enough!!!! We Venezuelans must FIRST constitutionally remove ourselves from Nicolás Maduro’s regime, establish a National Emergency Government that will be able to fully execute this electoral sentence and then, after a period of stabilization and re-institutionalization, call for elections again with a new, completely healthy electoral system. That’s the order. Hence the extreme importance of this ruling which the official opposition has decided to ignore as if nothing had happened here, as it has ignored the popular mandate of the 16J.
It is not a simple electoral sentence, it is much more than that because it implies that those Rectors indicated in the Fourth numeral of the Decision, “It is EXHORTABLEED to the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY that in accordance with article 296 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the process of selection and appointment of new Rectors of the National Electoral Council…” only makes sense if it is done within the ordered change in the context of the sentence, and placing everything in an even greater environment of change in the country’s political system.
But unfortunately we will see from civil society, again, a blind, deaf and tiny opposition wanting to make primaries’ to elect a new leadership’ of the opposition to seek those elections, trying again to deceive the people. Please! If I wasn’t so pathetic, I’d be laughing. We citizens must be empowered by these decisions because they are not precisely aimed at those who have frustrated us and who have amply demonstrated that they are outnumbered by the country’s problem. They are addressed to us and we must therefore understand them fully.
On June 1, a group of Venezuelans, aware of this, began asking for the decision of this National Emergency Government from the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice, hoping that there will be many in civil society who will support this course of action. We can no longer wait for Billo’s as it was called in my times. People are dying, there’s no more time to lose.
Caracas, June 14, 2018