By Luis Manuel Aguana
The expression “original chavismo” became fashionable to denote all those who embraced the initial ideas of Hugo Chávez and who accompanied the Galáctico when it began the work of destruction of Venezuela that we knew until 1998. However, let’s see, the 3,673,685 people who voted for that coup in 1998 (I don’t count myself among them) could also be called “original chavistas”. That is to say, of the 6,988,291 Venezuelan voters (1) in the Electoral Registry of that time, 56.20% of them voted for the option of the coup plotter of Sabaneta de Barinas, in a participation of 63.45%, 3.3% more than in the previous presidential election (see Venezuelan presidential election, 1998, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_presidential_election,_1998). De acuerdo a esta definición, muchísima gente era chavista originaria en 1998.
But now it turns out that a group of old companions of Chávez and initiators of this tragedy have emerged, and that they have been excluded from the current chavismo-madurismo, that calling themselves with that remoquet, try to appropriate that which did not have a name, giving themselves a differentiating and “democratic” character to distance themselves from this abomination that now governs us.
The thing has reached the point where they dare to address the Secretary General of the OAS and ask him for an audience to be considered in a possible transition in the country (see in Spanish http://elestimulo.com/blog/chavismo-originario-pide-a-la-oea-apoyar-una-transicion-para-estabilizar-el-pais/).
In other words, not content with being a historical part responsible for the beginning of this present tragedy, they somehow seek a place in what may come in the future. One could not expect anything less from the one who shouted “murderer” to Commissioner Lázaro Forero, precisely they were the protagonists and those responsible for that tragic 11th of April. Impossible greater cynicism.
But since they know that the memory of Venezuelans is short, they go to the OAS and get Almagro’s attention and good will, taking advantage of the need for reconciliation among Venezuelans (see in Spanish https://twitter.com/Almagro_OEA2015/status/1053685260037357571?s=03).
And certainly politics is good for everything, even that, although some of us now find it disgusting. However, in the approach of this “original chavista” there is a conceptual error that escapes the naked eye. Neither Juan Barreto nor his companions are “original chavistas”. These were and continue to be the exploiters of the real original Chavistas, who in 1998, as the figures show, expected a positive change for the country. Those who believed that the Adecos and Copeyanos “were thieves”, without even imagining the magnitude that this denomination could reach after 20 years of uninterrupted looting. What existed before 1998 were apprentices of thieves compared to what they turned out to be.
Original Chavistas were those more than 3.6 million people who obstinate of the behavior of the traditional parties and their main leaders, first voted for Caldera in 1993, as first chance anti-party, and then threw the rest with the coup plotter Hugo Chavez in 1998, in an unsuccessful search for public decency and honest development for Venezuela.
But that “original chavista” when he saw the results of his error in voting for Chávez in 1998, was gradually leaving the flags of that pseudo-revolution, and now he is orphaned because he doesn’t believe in anyone. Neither in the dead that they say he lives, nor in the alive that he stole from the country and is leaving it to die of hunger and disease. And much less in these unburied corpses of that initial Chavismo that pretends to call itself “Original Chavismo.
Who did Chávez embody before those 1998 elections? Venezuela was forgotten by all politicians and in a sort of revengeful crusade it promised the country the head of the thieves fried in boiling oil. The result of that was predictable. Those who bought that avenging speech were the original Chavistas. The common people, the one who always waited and didn’t deliver, and who is now manipulated by the stomach with a CLAP box.
That Venezuelan has no political denomination. He is the one who danced in the adecas and copeyanas pilgrimages looking for accommodation and that after winning Chávez filled the PSUV meetings. He continues to be that Venezuelan who was exploited with clientelist populism and when the government’s money runs out, now he is looking for a new hope. But that hope cannot lie in returning to the past, much less exploring the bleak communist future offered by the regime. But there don’t seem to be many options.
The offer is either to go to an election with an arbiter controlled by the regime, including a probable referendum approving a communist constitution, with the approval of a collaborationist opposition, or to wait for foreign aid that does not arrive. There are not many options available to this Venezuelan.
However, in this magnitude of the crisis, the channels of communication are being opened in some way with that leadership that calls itself “original chavista” that even the Secretary General of the OAS gives them belligerence. I regret that entry that Secretary General Almagro has given them. They do not represent the Venezuelan people in any way, nor do those who now have responsibilities in the regime of Nicolás Maduro. No transition can be negotiated with criminals. With criminals you negotiate their way out, not co-government. There can be no mistake about that, especially from the leadership that is said to be in radical opposition in Venezuela.
Everyone lost legitimacy, including the official opposition. It is necessary the emergence of a new opposition leadership -not necessarily generational- that is based on the actions of each one in the face of the realities imposed on us by the serious political situation. And that only comes from each of the regions of the country to an appeal to the original constituent.
Faced with a call for “council elections” and “constitutional referendum”, the National Constituent Alliance (Alianza Nacional Constituyente-ANCO) proposes the convocation of a constituent consultation WITHOUT CNE, organized by civil society with the help of the international community, so that the sovereign can decide (see in Spanish ANCO ante la crisis humanitaria continental, en http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2018/10/comunicado-anco-ante-la-crisis.html).
If the thing is as the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, says in the Voice of America, then let the people decide for real: “I hope that the Venezuelan people will restore democracy in their country. If they elect Maduro, well, you know, that would be the choice of Venezuelans. As you said, describing the horrors Maduro has inflicted on his people, that seems unlikely to me” (see interview of the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo to the Voice of America, in https://www.voanoticias.com/a/pompeo-entrevista-mexico-inmigracion-venezuela-/4621578.html?platform=hootsuite).
It follows from the above that they expect the transition to come out of a “normal” electoral process with these criminals, which will not happen if the dissuasive methods Pompeo himself refers to are not applied: “I trust we will find other ways in which we can exert pressure in a way that convinces Maduro that this is not going to work, that he will not be able to retain power forever, and that oppressing his people in the way you have just described is inhumane and inappropriate”. And to force these methods to occur will require a radical change in the electoral system, as the legitimate TSJ ruled on June 13, 2018. Only in this way will it be possible to count on the decision of the true “Original Chavismo” without any mediatization, and it will be possible to say without any lack of truth that the genuine chavistas demonstrated and we are in the presence of a true process of reconciliation among Venezuelans…
Caracas, October 22, 2018
(1) Errata: Corrected from the initially published version that indicated the word “inscribed” in the wrong way. Grateful to readers who noticed the error.