By Luis Manuel Aguana
It is not possible to enter into a serious analysis of what happened yesterday, April 30, 2019, without first going through the experience we had on February 23, where all Venezuelans expected the massive breakdown of the Armed Forces, the product of that mantra we repeated at that time: “humanitarian aid enters Venezuela yes or yes”. Once again, the long awaited breakdown of the Armed Forces did not take place as expected, although a significant advance in that sense occurred throughout the country. More soldiers appeared recognizing the government of President Juan Guaidó, but not in the critical mass necessary to forcefully displace the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros.
And we say that this case cannot be analyzed without strolling through the 23F because the entire opposition strategy to achieve the Cessation of Usurpation is based on laying all the eggs of change in the basket of the collapse of the Armed Forces of a regime that, for reasons of nature and construction, can never be part of a democratic government because in fact, in itself, these ceased to be what they were, transmuting into a praetorian armed militia of a mafia of narcos and terrorists. Trying to use the same scale to measure career and professional military, comparing them to criminals makes no sense at all.
In an article published by journalist Orlando Avendaño in PanamPost (see in Spanish La peligrosa fantasía del quiebre militar y sus promotores, in https://es.panampost.com/orlando-avendano/2019/04/18/el-quiebre-militar/?cn-reloaded=1), it is clearly established that the President in Charge Guaidó was waiting for military promises from former members of Chavismo for a break that never arrived:
“I remember, on the morning of that 23 February, seeing the retired major general of the Army, a former member of the Chavista regime, Clíver Alcalá Cordones. I met him, in the investigation for Days of Submission, several months ago. He did not generate confidence in me, although he now poses as a dissident. But there I was, in Cúcuta, guiding several soldiers who had just deserted the border. Clíver, in a way, commanded them. Next to him was Major Parra, an officer who had just fled Venezuela. Within hours, Parra met with President Juan Guaidó and other military personnel in a building in Tienditas”.
Also the journalist Avendaño points out in his article something that has repeated the same Cliver Alcalá, which apparently has convinced Guaidó, and that I believe is what has us all parked at this time in the worst of situations: “There is no need for an international coalition. The Armed Force itself can get Maduro out. That could be an important way out in Venezuela. And not only the Armed Force internally, but the Armed Force deployed throughout the world”.
Well, the dissident Armed Force itself CANNOT REMOVE MADURO on April 30. And why do you think it couldn’t? Because Maduro is NOT A GOVERNMENT from the conventional point of view. It is a criminal mafia embedded in power in Venezuela, where anyone who defects puts his life and that of his family in grave danger. No matter how many promises could have been made by “Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez, General Ivan Hernandez Dala (Director of Military Intelligence DGCIM) and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Maikel Moreno,” as revealed in an interview by John Bolton, U.S. National Security Advisor (see in Spanish Bolton: Padrino Lopez y Maikel Moreno acordaron supuesta salida de Maduro, en https://talcualdigital.com/index.php/2019/04/30/bolton-padrino-lopez-y-maikel-moreno-acordaron-supuesta-salida-de-maduro/), it was natural that those characters would turn back at the last minute, compromising an operation that could even cost the life of Juan Guaidó and the rest of those who accompanied him in La Carlota on April 30. It still amazes me how these boys dare to put their lives in the hands of such characters as those who betrayed them on 23F.
I have insisted and I will continue to insist that this is not about getting people out on the street, in a sort of historic popular gesture that expels the usurper. It is clear that popular support in the street is important, but that is not what this is about. The popular mass in the streets in permanent protest is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Regimes like these only fall with the force of arms, not with anything else. And we are at the point where armed brute force is required to move these criminals from power.
A negotiation with those who hold that mafia -which would be the only way to get Maduro out of power- compromises in a superlative way the stability of any future government, because it would be putting itself in the hands of criminals long before beginning its administration. It is as if Don Corleone were dead, the new capo would have to be put in the hands of Tesio and Clemenza, naively believing that he will not be assassinated around the corner. If you don’t understand that you have to sweep away the whole mafia to govern, you haven’t fully understood the problem.
But at this hour the mistakes that had to be made were already made and we are in a different stadium. Steps have already been taken that cannot be taken and progress has indeed been made, but the Cessation of Usurpation has not been completed. At this point it is clear that Juan Guaidó and his team hardly took this transcendental step with the help of the U.S. government and are possibly on the verge of making another big mistake: negotiating with the terrorists. In fact, they had already begun to do so with Padrino López, Hernández Dalá and Moreno, at the request of the Americans. Were these characters going to leave the scene with their real stolen and free? Or would they continue in the exercise of their positions in that repugnant logic of the “authoritarian enclaves” of the old regime of Henry Ramos Allup, as we have already commented in past notes?
Whatever the case may have been, the power structures would be subject to negotiation about which no one would know their scope; and the transitional government would begin crooked, and committed to criminals.
Still Maduro’s regime is very weak and they know it. The televised meeting of the usurper with his military was a poem. Seeing the faces of those soldiers made them want to cry. I think this is the best time to apply the International Community’s Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to help Venezuelans and end the humanitarian tragedy and crimes against humanity. What more demonstration from the Venezuelan people than the one on April 30? No more options on the table.
Caracas, May 1, 2019