By Luis Manuel Aguana
There was a time when elections were the main topic of this blog, with electoral conditions being the issue that I most referenced, perhaps because of the naivety of one who thought that the official opposition was not seeing what this writer naively believed they did not see. I’ll be buried in a white coffin!
The day after the 7-O disaster, on October 8, 2012, I wrote a note entitled “And now what?” (see note in Spanish at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2012/10/y-ahora-que.html) and guess the theme: well, you guessed: the electoral conditions to participate again. They never assumed it in a serious way as the country’s already grave situation deserved, which is why I finally attributed that attitude to a strong collaborationist inclination, where both government and official opposition had given in to play a symbiotic game of living one another (see in Spanish “Symbiosis” at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2012/12/simbiosis.html) with a very damaging result for Venezuelans.
Electoral conditions! I demanded at that time in this blog. I wondered over and over again why the official opposition parties did not see that which was so clear to us. How was it possible that after 2004 none of them demanded them, even threatening to refuse to participate if they were not granted? I reviewed it in a note in March 2013 (see in Spanish “Conditions”, at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/03/condiciones.html), comparing the situation of Toledo with Fujimori. Nothing. Like it wasn’t with them.
Before April 14,2013, continue repeating the same thing in the second opportunity that fate granted Henrique Capriles to be the opposition candidate after the death of the Galactic, but that time no longer so lonely because this time I joined an outstanding group of Venezuelans, emphasizing the issue in a more technical way, pointing out each deviation and what had to be corrected in the demand for fair and authentic conditions to go to that election of 14A-2013 (see in Spanish Open Letter on the occasion of April 14, To the Venezuelan Democratic Society before the call for Elections on April 14,2013 at http://declaraciondecaracas.blogspot.com/2013/03/ante-las-elecciones-del-14-de-abril.html). This Open Letter was submitted to a collection of public signatures and only 364 signatures were obtained (see https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/carta-abierta-a-la-sociedad-democr%C3%A1tica-venezolana-ante-el-llamado-a-elecciones-el-14-de-abril-de-2013.html). This is how far we were from being understood in our application and the contempt of all the pro-MUDs, who were demanding conditions of participation on which they were definitely not interested. They had “their truth”.
However, this game has lasted more than 15 years. The regime corrupted the electoral system, and not only the technical part (that is, the sophisticated one with captahuellas and refinements in the distribution of the voting machines by center) but in all the related procedures to prevent Venezuelans from voting for another option that was not the government, extorting first with the aid given to the most vulnerable Venezuelans through the Missions, and now doing it with food, using a massive registry of citizens through the “Carnet de la Patria”, without whose registration hardly any Venezuelan of the popular classes can feed themselves because they do not sell their food at affordable prices. Now it is not that I take away the Misión Vivienda or Madres del Barrio, at this moment it is harder: “If you do not vote for us you do not eat”. This has been the advance in time for not having made decisions. And that is decisive …
Little by little and over the years, not having done anything at all due to electoral conditions is charging the official opposition, and even more, all Venezuelans have reached a point of no return, where even if they “grant” some basic electoral conditions to participate equally the election would be lost. And because? Because in addition to the fact that the base of poverty has increased significantly, and that these new poor people need to register in the Carnet de la Patria to be able to eat being virtually slaves of the regime through the stomach, more than 4 million people have left Venezuela a fundamental difference in an account where at least 3 million of those people are hard opponents of the opposition.
And if we add that even when they open the Consulates abroad for the electoral registry of Venezuelans who have left, that impressive mass of compatriots is not yet in a legal situation in each country of destination, which invalidates them to be able to vote according to the official narrative that indicates that the situation of the Venezuelan voter must be legal in the country where he is, which would be insignificant the opposition contribution from abroad in these conditions.
Now, political parties aware of the very high degree of decomposition of the Venezuelan electoral system and of all the techniques that the CNE election ministry has incorporated in recent years to fraudulently win elections, surprisingly “realized” that the regime had to be required “electoral conditions” to participate in a new presidential election. The remembered President Luis Herrera Campins would now say: “¡You were late, you bird!” At the time we heartily asked them not to do so, and now it is too late.
As they are unable to continue the charade with the regime in the Dominican Republic, they are now taking this path to maintain hope in the country, that if “electoral conditions” are achieved then a change in the situation of Venezuela is possible. And that my dear friends is another lie of survival of the MUD and that is being unfortunately supported by respected institutions that are currently lending themselves for that, as is the case of the support that will be given to the MUD on March 6 at the UCV. To insist on electoral conditions to go to an election with Tiby’s CNE at this time is suicidal.
It would mean that the technical and procedural trap of the CNE, combined with a severely diminished number of opposition voters, plus the existence of a constituent Assembly to which the President-Elect will be sworn in, will make it impossible for the regime to leave Miraflores with elections, taking hold in that way with our votes by the electoral route and additionally opening the dark possibility of a Trojan Horse, as Gustavo Coronel is now warning (see in Spanish Gustavo Coronel, Caballo de Troya Scenario, Falcón replaces Maduro http://www.noticierodigital.com/2018/03/gustavo-coronel-escenario-caballo-de-troya-falcon-remplaza-a-maduro/). That would be the last thing that could happen to us.
And if, as in the past, I insisted again and again on electoral conditions when they were still possible, now I insist that this path was definitively cancelled by the dictatorship during all the time it was lost, as they advanced in their destruction of the social body of the country. I am now advocating a different way out, equally participatory, electoral and constitutional, but which is disruptive as a solution in the eyes of those who have lived to make elections: a new Plebiscite organized by Civil Society.
This proposal has been called the “Alternative Agenda for Venezuela” (see in Spanish at http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2018/02/manifiesto-gran-alianza-por-la-consulta.html) and is based on organizing the internal and external social pressure necessary to hold a plebiscite type 16J (without CNE) where the people pronounce on the following matters of national importance: a) To dismantle the unconstitutional Constituent of Maduro; b) To summon a legitimate Constituent; and c) To authorize the elected Constituent for the removal of the Public Powers and the designation of a Transitional and National Unity Government, until the call for general elections with the rules of a new Constitution.
Why do not you like this solution to the electoral factors? Because they would not have control of the process. A forced and pressured Plebiscite by the people in the street and by external sanctions, with the certain threat of a humanitarian intervention from the outside, would put in Miraflores those that the Constituent decides, not the “saviors of the country” that are they are cooking from any place by way of the “fast track”. Only the government and the collaborators will win by the route of the “conditions”.
A Plebiscite would be an orderly transition to a political form that restores the rule of law without violence and without a coup over which Venezuelans would have no control, with the people represented by their constituents deciding to orderly and peacefully replace the government. If Venezuela joins together around that solution as it did on July 5,2017 for the 16J Popular Consultation, the political effect inside and outside Venezuela would be monumental, thus creating the conditions for an immediate and peaceful change in the country’s political situation. It is up to us – once again – to leave behind us a CNE and electoral conditions that, instead of constituting the solution it was never before, have become a drama that is part of the problem…
Caracas, March 4, 2018