By Luis Manuel Aguana
So much has been written on the subject of the opposition unit that people no longer believe in it. The very term “unity” became a commonplace, something worn out in everyone’s hands. The parties attempting a common front to achieve through democratic means to subdue something that in no way from the very beginning could be considered as democratic but as authoritarian and dictatorial. This “unity” was soon seen in the seams of coexistence with the regime. Tyranny was well served by a functioning “opposition” to give an international appearance of democracy.
That position cost the country politically a break between those of us who saw clearly that the regime had agreed with a complacent opposition that attended each electoral event knowing that it was going without any guarantee, and those who kept us busy with the blackmail of the vote as the only way out of this tyranny, in a logical contradiction since by definition a tyranny cannot come out by democratic means, quite the contrary, tyrannies are consolidated with the tools of democracy. But the complaisant opposition had us for years in that lie until with so many sticks the people finally understood that greater truth than a temple by demonstrating reliably all the traps that had been done to us with the electoral system.
People still don’t fully assimilate it, but the fact that President Juan Guaidó and the rest of the politicians in the National Assembly have advanced what has been done so far to evict the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is not due to his “extraordinary political abilities” but because Venezuelans gave them, as one man, the back to continue accepting the path of electoral fraud favored by those who had always deceived us: the regime and its complacent opposition. And that is the only truth.
That fact alone dynamited the base of sustenance of the regime on May 20, 2018, achieving that this election was not recognized internationally and Maduro as legitimate President. The rest is history until January 23, 2019 when Guaidó harvested the harvest of lost legitimacy by assuming the functions of President of the Republic (albeit incompletely), according to Article 233 of the Constitution, but hand in hand with the Venezuelan people in the streets, something that certainly did not accompany the parties that had always led us to the electoral slaughterhouse. We have to remember that very well.
So if in the National Assembly, with Juan Guaidó at the forefront, due to a succession of historical events, they are exercising that “parallel power” as Executive Power through a Law of the Statute for the Transition, it has been by the work and grace of the same Venezuelan people who has been the one who has put the blood and suffering all these years.
The administration of this struggle to achieve the Cessation of Usurpation has been extremely unfortunate and ineffective -not to say criminal-, not only because there has been clumsiness and impreparation, but also because the opposing forces that in the past wanted the electoral continuity of the regime are still alive, sabotaging any attempt to evict it. They have not disappeared due to the fact that the country no longer believes at all in the electoral system of Tiby Lucena and his countless electoral thieves of the CNE, but because now they are looking for another accommodation that will allow them to recover the confidence they once had to be able to take us back to an electoral slaughterhouse with the regime, even without Nicolás Maduro Moros being in power, giving continuity by other means to the socialism of the XXI century.
And to show a button: the only presence in the Norwegian mission of an electoral agent of that opposition that always told Venezuelans that the electoral system of the regime was reliable, the former Rector Vicente Díaz, is irrefutable proof that the solution sought in Oslo is electoral, without having made the prior and necessary fumigation to the electoral antro of the CNE to clean up all irregularities insistently denounced from civil society.
But I do not want to divert the matter to the specifically electoral, although it is very important for this reasoning. The National Assembly and Juan Guaidó, as its highest representative and President in Charge, cannot ignore the rest of the Venezuelans who said NO to the system that illegally designated Maduro as President on May 20, 2018 and that led him to be the one in charge of this struggle. And on behalf of those Venezuelans there are leaders who have long since distanced themselves, some more and some less, from the regime’s electoral solution and its collaborationism. Integrating this leadership to the efforts being made for the Cessation of Usurpation, one could say that Venezuela would be fighting together to get out of tyranny.
On behalf of that opposition Venezuela, President Juan Guaidó should be politically incorporating Diego Arria and Antonio Ledezma outside the country, and María Corina Machado inside the country, into a Governing Council in order to decide on a unified and internationally credible strategy against the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros. In the same way, to integrate in this Council civil society organizations and institutions with the maximum credibility in the citizenry, such as churches and universities.
The political leadership and representation of Venezuela, which did not go to the elections of May 20, 2018 and which maintained at all times a radical and intransigent position for the exit of the regime, rests on the above mentioned people. That is the Venezuela that Guaidó must integrate into his government. Of course, there is another political leadership that could be perfectly considered, but it could be affirmed without any major mistake that in Arria, Ledezma y Machado rests the majority representation of that other Venezuela that has not yielded an inch to the tyranny of castro-chavismo-madurismo.
This Governing Council would represent the real opposition unification in front of third parties without anyone being left out. And if they are truly negotiating with the regime something other than the terms of the Cessation of Usurpation, then that solution should be validated by the opposition representation of all of Venezuela, not only of the party that represents the MUD-Frente Amplio of the National Assembly, or even worse, that of two parties -VP and UNT-, because if so, it would have no value for Venezuelans. If they went to negotiate an electoral process without absolutely changing the conditions, only negotiating Rectors of the CNE as exchange cards, what they will achieve is that nobody will vote in another fraudulent process like that of the 20M-2018, prolonging the suffering of Venezuelans and exposing violence, hunger and death.
A few years ago, prior to the disaster that occurred with the 2012 Chávez-Capriles elections, I published an article titled “Technical Unit” (see in Spanish in http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2012/07/unidad-tecnica.html). In that note he made a similar proposal, no longer among opposition politicians but among those who, being equal, were in turn very different. It seemed like a play on words, but it was not. It proposed Unity among the opposition electoral technicians to give a common technical front with political implications to those who politically led the opposition against the regime. My naivety in those days rested on the fact that I believed that there was the real political will to end the tragedy that was already in 2012 the misgovernment of Hugo Chavez, and since they had not rejected the proposal.
Now the political will is a prerequisite and this time the proposal is not technical, it is Political (with a capital “P”) and is aimed at those who lead the transition, so that they have the greatness of including without sectarianism the representation of the rest of the Venezuelan opposition in the process to stop the usurpation, because if they do not do it the result will be more traumatic and very possibly they will not achieve it alone. In this sense, I subscribe 100% to the words of Carlos Sánchez Berzaín in a recent presentation at the InterAmerican Institute for Democracy: “…in the Venezuelan reality, in the Cuban reality, in the Bolivian reality, and in the reality of Nicaragua and of the countries oppressed by these dictatorships transnational organized crime, there are two stages to liberate themselves….The first stage is a stage of unity against the usurper. A stage of social unity, of political unity against the illegal holder of power, against the dictatorship of organized crime. That is a concept of national mission because that is where the survival of Venezuela and the Venezuelans in the case of Venezuela, of Bolivia and the Bolivians in the case of Bolivia, of Cuba and the Cubans in the case of Cuba, and the same goes for Nicaragua. That unity is not an ideological unity. It is not a partisan unity. It is not an issue that has to do with the conceptions of the people or the very respectable political parties that resist the dictatorship. It is nothing more than the objective of ending usurpation. To give rise to a second stage that is the restoration of democracy, in which ideologies and political positions can once again be in force, replacing the essential elements of democracy. And I want to return to that first stage, because we are in that first stage in Venezuela, in Bolivia, in Nicaragua and we are failing because of sectarianism. We are failing because there is no possibility of unity against the usurper! Because there are fifth columnists, because there is division, because there are aspirations to a power that does not have to be held by the usurper but that does not want to be achieved because it simply governs and sectarianism is in force! And whoever falls in the glove, who assumes it and who is ashamed to try to make a project of unity that will soon end the usurpation in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba” (see Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, in “Unidad para terminar con la usurpación en Venezuela”, in https://youtu.be/c-ryN2uec1s). (Highlighted by us)
Although in Venezuela I see it difficult for them to assume or become ashamed, at least if they are pointed out by sectarians. What we have seen so far of the Guaidó government are sectarian acts that exclude opposing factors that could well accelerate the fall of the regime. The President in Charge and the political factors of the National Assembly do not represent the entire opposition Venezuela and do not have the legitimacy to negotiate for all of us. But they do have the power to open up without sectarianism, as Sánchez Berzaín points out, to build a project of opposition unity among all of us that administers national and international strategies for the Cessation of Usurpation. There should be no problems if we agree on what is fundamental: to immediately end the regime in order to recover democracy and freedom.
Caracas, May 26, 2019