By Luis Manuel Aguana
In an editorial premonition of February 15, 2016, Analitica.com titled “A National Emergency Government is Required” (see in Spanish https://www.analitica.com/opinion/se-requiere-un-gobierno-de-emergencia-nacional/). More than two years later, the editorial ended by saying: “If the government persists in the sterile confrontation with the Assembly, which is also the majority of the Venezuelan people, the outcome could be tragic and harmful for the country’s recovery and for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela”. The editorial showed the concern of all Venezuelans about the regime’s decision to ignore the will of the sovereign people expressed at the polls on 6D-2015, a few days after the opposition was installed in the National Assembly.
And it was tragic and it still doesn’t hit bottom. The regime is still ignoring the will of the people. But the most transcendental thing about that is that when we all talked about the need for a transitional government, what was really required, given the degree of destruction at the time, was an emergency government, as the editorial suggested when comparing the destruction of Venezuela two years ago with Europe at the end of World War II, including the Marshall Plan. If at that time this National Emergency Government was justified, then there is no telling that it is now a pressing need.
How are the two terms different and why should we begin to call for such a National Emergency Government and not a Transitional Government? In that as a result of the beginning of the dismissal process for corruption crimes initiated by the legitimate TSJ against Nicolás Maduro Moros, what is constitutionally established is that once the illegitimate occupant of the Presidency of the Republic is deposed and replaced by someone constitutionally valid (not including the current occupant of the Vice Presidency of the Republic), the constitutional period must be concluded and legitimate elections called.
But is that really what is most convenient for the country in the current state of affairs where people are dying in hospitals and starving on the streets? To call for an electoral process in a completely inhospitable environment, with a country and a government bureaucracy kidnapped by hunger through a food card? Some will say, “Well, by then we will have changed to Maduro and those details would be corrected before the process”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Only if we consider that the Venezuelan electoral system is completely flawed and distorted in favor of the regime and its party is it not possible to make even the election of a beauty queen without the result being modified. And to begin to technically and institutionally debug the entire system, an important period of time is required that should begin with the debugging of the Electoral Registry. The intervention of the CNE should be the first thing a National Emergency Government has to undertake.
On the other hand, the appointment of a new Government, which the National Assembly must assume in a capacity that they cannot evade because it is part of their constitutional responsibilities, requires a political agreement that is complex in itself. They are already late because the mandate forcefully expressed on 16J-2017 was deliberately ignored, with the express intention of negotiating with the regime in the Dominican Republic. Now having had an exhortation from the legitimate Supreme Court appointed by them to initiate the corresponding constitutional procedure, the Assembly’s Board of Directors decided once again to make the mistake of ignoring the appointment of a new government. They’ re in time to change that.
Once Maduro’s successor has been appointed, that successor must form a government that, far from calling for an electoral process, must undertake “the cyclopean task of correcting everything that has led Venezuela to the worst crisis in its republican history”, as the aforementioned editorial indicated, without wasting a second of time. That is why what Venezuela needs is a National Emergency Government, not one of transition to call for elections. We’re in an emergency! But I go beyond that.
This National Emergency Government, in the exercise of its powers, must have the obligation to consult Venezuelans about their future, about the refoundation of the country. A country destroyed and in need of a Marshall Plan, which the international community will surely provide us with, must consider a thorough institutional reform that will begin after the conclusion of this Emergency Government, which should be in place for at least two years, while the enormous problems of the short term are resolved. And this consultation is none other than that the people pronounce themselves on a Constituent process of an Original character by popular initiative.
Unfortunately I have the feeling that no official opposition party is seeing the problem in this way. They live on the glories of the past. They think they’re going back to the country of 1998 and they’re wrong. They believe that it will be enough to go through a transition and elect a new government without changing the fundamental structures of the country, in a sort of “take off yourself to put me on”. And that is a monumental mistake because the country must change for the better and secure the future of the new generations. Hundreds of young people did not die in these years to play the game of “gatopardism” of changing so that everything remains the same. Here we will have to live with a kind of “democratic Peronism” (if that is possible) that will remain after this Chavez-Madurist debacle. And this new country will have to be designed and built together with them so that there can be political stability, not otherwise. That is why this call to the Constituent is in everyone’s interest.
It is paradoxical that the frustrated Decree No. 1 of the coup plotters of 4F-1992 contemplated a National Emergency Government with the obligation to call for a Constituent process during its development, as we are now suggesting (see in Spanish The decrees of 4F-1992, http://quintodia.net/los-decretos-del-4f/): “Article 4. These legislative functions, assumed by decree by this highest public authority of the Republic of Venezuela, will last as long as necessary until the next Constituent Assembly, taking into account the fundamental political changes that this historic court in national political life has brought about as a result of the victorious action of the Civic-Military Movement, embodies them in a new Constitution under the reference of which the country will be summoned to speak freely for the constitution of all the fundamental public powers of the Nation.”.
As you can see, never before has the country been reunited with its own ghosts. Let us hope that this time we will not make another mistake and that a National Emergency Government in favor of all Venezuelans will be correctly understood, which will lead us out of the crisis and to the refounding of the country.
Caracas, May 14, 2018