By Luis Manuel Aguana
Some friends have written to me again asking me what happened to the Constituent project that I had written so much about, given the regime’s frenzy and its now infamous fraudulent constituent. I have replied to everyone: we never think of the constituent as an end, but as a means to build a better country. And the fact that we promoted it in an organized way from the National Constituent Alliance (http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/) was not due to anything else in that it was the organized way in which civil society, through the mechanisms established in our constitution, could kill two birds of a single stone: to resolve the political crisis with the constitutional substitution of the regime, so that in the same act we could all discuss a new political system for the country of the future in peace and reconciliation.
Regrettably, the regime did what the official opposition gathered in the MUD stubbornly refused to do, summoning it to screw itself into power and get closer to Cuban Castro-communism. But that is past history and I do not usually cry about spilled milk but regroup forces to establish a new strategy that takes us to the same place that we proposed from the beginning, which is nothing other than the creation of that new political system that we must build among all.
But regrouping forces is not easy. We had already taken a certain path in the National Constituent Alliance until the regime decided to convene its fraudulent constituent without the consent of the Depositary of Sovereignty. Some joined the ANC, both individuals and organizations, with the intention of “leaving the regime”. Others – I believe the majority – did so in the hope of convening the Original Constituent Assembly to discuss a Country Project, with new rules and institutions, that would put us at the head of a runway – until now imaginary – to really begin with Century XXI, in the same way as Venezuela did it after the death of the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez in 1935.
Both groups are still waiting for the ANC for this new strategy of action. I inform you that we have not stayed calm. The task is very great and we cannot do it alone. It was always an important task of the Alliance to convince the political factors that it was, is and still is necessary and indispensable to achieve a healthy evolution of the country, that after leaving this tragedy of criminals in power, let us discuss Venezuela in the only space where it can be done: in a Constituent Assembly called and approved by the people.
And when we concluded that this was impossible to do with the political factors that are now negotiating our future with the regime in the Dominican Republic, we decided to embark on the hardest path: to try it ourselves with the Depositary of Sovereignty and convince them that such a path was possible. But it was a very long road and we were beaten by the regime. We would have raised 3 million signatures (+15% of the electoral roll) as required in Article 348 of the Constitution for the convening of the Original Constituent Assembly, which, with the help of the parties that are now the majority in the National Assembly, would have been done in days, not to say hours. But they chose another more tortuous one who turned out to be a loser. But we all lose…
At this moment an important sector of opposition Venezuela is deciding that this official opposition that did not understand the path that we had proposed, not only could have replaced the regime through the suggested constituent path, but also disregarded the mandate we gave them July 16 in a Popular Consultation, clearly historical in the annals of world democracy, should be replaced at short notice by another that best represents the interests of this suffering Venezuela. If this new entity is to be achieved, it will be for them to decide on the paths and tasks required for the urgent replacement of the regime of Nicolás Maduro, not continuing this opposition parody that now exists only to lengthen its permanence in power.
We at the ANC remain committed to convincing all Venezuelans that whatever form a new opposition agrees on for the immediate cessation of Nicolás Maduro’s rule and his regime, Venezuela needs to discuss its Social Contract again. And that is only achieved by calling the Original Constituent. We have a working paper for that discussion and it is called Project Country Venezuela Reconciled through Constituent, with some Constituent Bases for its convocation (see the Project and its Bases in http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/p/documentos-fundamentales.html).
But the most important thing of all this discussion is that, as we begin a new path with a new opposition leadership truly determined and ready for immediate political change, the panorama of Venezuela must change, giving hope to a people that needs answers now, not by 2018.
The international community that has been supporting the people of Venezuela in this struggle that has cost so many lives of young Venezuelans is only waiting for us to agree and have the rationality and wisdom to be consistent with what we have done by protesting in the streets.
If on the one hand from outside they see us “negotiating” with the regime and tacitly accepting that constitutional fraud of Nicolas Maduro and Delcy Rodriguez, as the MUD has been doing by attending this “dialogue” in the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, they will not be able to continue applying the intelligent sanctions aimed at enclosing and neutralizing the actions of the main officials of the regime against our population. There is an urgent need to redefine the opposition strategy, and this cannot be done with complacent opposition to the regime’s wishes.
The urgent start of a new opposition platform would give us the right framework of opposition to return to the original constituent path of a reconstruction with reconciliation at the right time, but within a combined strategy that could never be reconciled with a collaborative and dedicated opposition. It will never be too late to recover the Venezuelans’ hope of change…
Caracas, October 3,2017