By Luis Manuel Aguana
In what can be considered the largest hostage kidnapping situation in the world, the execution of one of the hostages, Councilman Fernando Albán, was reported last Monday, October 8. Given the characteristics of this particular hostage, an important political leader of one of the largest parties of the official opposition, the antennas of the entire planet focused on the characteristics of this crime that the regime wants to report as suicide. But there is one rule of the regime that we should already know so as not to lose the north of the country’s situation: one scandal always covers another, and this will be covered by the next one, which will probably be more serious and more macabre.
I have stated over and over again in successive notes that in Venezuela there is a kidnapping situation and that the hostages are all Venezuelans to a greater or lesser degree. Consequently, the treatment that should be given to what is happening should be that of a gang of heavily armed criminals who have kidnapped the entire country and who will not give up spaces or cease to be in control until a superior external force appears and negotiates the delivery of the hostages with the restitution of their freedom. The difference here is that the negotiation to release the hostages has not yet begun because there is an erroneous characterization of what is happening in Venezuela, with the belief that a situation of indefinite coexistence can be agreed with the kidnappers.
That being the case, absolutely all Venezuelans, to a greater or lesser extent and until the negotiation to free ourselves begins, we have to understand each other with the criminals, as would happen with anyone who is inside a bank during a robbery and the criminals decide to take the people inside the premises as hostages. And since the formal negotiation has not begun, the hostages are still being killed. So far what has happened is that the kidnappers have been identified by encircling them through personal sanctions in the hope that they will leave the hostages but securing them inside the country without any negotiating approach that could depose the hostage situation.
Now, in the midst of this kidnapping, the criminals decide to execute a hostage to demonstrate their control of the situation, before the scandalized gaze of the world. In the same way there are other hostages dying every day for lack of medicines and treatments that can only be given with the permission of the kidnapper: the kidney patients, those who need treatment for cancer, those who need some medicine that the regime refuses to send from abroad, the children who are born with problems that cannot be treated and who are dying every day like flies in hospitals and maternity hospitals all over the country. These victims are not as visible but they are being executed as Councilman Fernando Albán was but with much less notoriety.
In order to maintain control of the internal situation, the kidnappers must change the country’s rules of operation, and for this it is necessary to change the current constitution, which, even though they have taken no care to violate it, requires a new constitution in which their disaffections are allowed. Hence, a few days before the execution of Councilman Albán on October 8, 2018, the well-known constitutional lawyer, Dr. José Vicente Haro, was kidnapped on the night of Wednesday, October 3, 2018, just after his declarations of October 1, 2018 (see http://www.noticierodigital.com/2018/10/jose-vicente-haro-proyecto-constitucion-convierte-al-pais-estado-centralizado/) against the draft socialist Constitution that the regime let slip, and that has been profusely distributed on social networks, but without any brand of authorship.
Dr. Haro told CNN about his traumatic experience of kidnapping, in which there were many blows, and threats of rape and death against him, using war weapons (see CNN Conclusiones con José Vicente Haro, en https://youtu.be/ZubRoHe1luo); but above all the submission to a forced interrogation about political matters of a group that, according to the explanation given in his interview with CNN, corresponded to a police team with hierarchical obedience. This obviously does not turn out to be the traditional “express” kidnapping for money. For the final result, the objective was only to intimidate him, not kill him, sending a clear message to the rest of the hostages in the country. Executing one of the country’s most important human rights lawyers with CIDH protection measures would have become very serious and harmful to the regime.
But why was Dr. Haro kidnapped? In the environment where this lawyer who defends the human rights of political prisoners operates, threats and intimidation are common. But why now? Why frighten him with a kidnapping now and not before? Answer: Because it is important that at this very moment the regime intimidates the population. It is important to note that one of the few most respected and authoritative voices in the country to speak about the communist bodrio that they intend to impose in the very short term is precisely Dr. José Vicente Haro.
To silence Dr. Haro could turn out to be something very important for the regime at this moment when it is marketing to go to elections with the collaborationist opposition and negotiating a new “potable” CNE for the opposition mass, with the main political leaders that official opposition in the National Assembly. But the most important thing: to prevent an early matrix of opinion against including the Approving Referendum of that new Constitution in the ballot of the election of Councilmen on December 9. To silence this discussion is, strategically speaking, something extremely important for the regime in order to control the population.
However, the kidnapping of Dr. Haro was covered by the following scandal, the crime of Councilman Fernando Alban. And this in turn will surely be covered by the next scandal until December 9, 2018. And in the meantime, what are we doing? Putting more emphasis on discussing what the kidnappers are doing with the hostages, without putting the emphasis on the core of the problem which is none other than the solution of the country’s kidnapping with hostages situation.
The solution that the official opposition leadership intends to give to the hostage situation is to live with the kidnappers, once again validating an electoral process with the regime. That is the solution that is being proposed to us Venezuelans. It is up to us to accept that or not. This represents, to say the least, forgetting the blood that the youths shed in the streets in this struggle. Please! There is a kidnapping situation and they continue killing the hostages! And the next death will be more and more cruel and brazen, as was the death of Councilman Fernando Albán…
And whether they were killed because they were thrown from a 10th floor or from the roof of the SEBIN building, the Helicoid or Ramo Verde, or because they were killed in the cells of La Tumba or ended up dead from hunger, disease or lack of medicine, we have an obligation to think about how to end the kidnapping. The hostages will then be released as a result.
We must all agree that there is a situation of kidnapping with hostages where the only possible negotiation is the surrender of the kidnappers and their peaceful surrender to legitimate authorities. In order to do this, we must all mount a supra-national solution with the intervention of the International Community in order to resolve the largest hostage situation in the world that occurs in Venezuela. Either the kidnappers surrender under negotiated conditions or the international security forces intervene. That is why I advocate for a multinational entity to be organized outside the country, capable of negotiating with the kidnappers the largest hostage kidnapping situation in the world, with the capacity to decide on the last extreme the use of force, where Venezuelans legitimately designated for that purpose would preferably participate.
Although the country is horrified by the vile murder of a new hostage, we have a moral obligation to stop and think coldly, not about how the regime is killing the hostages, but about how to end the kidnapping, with minimal damage to the remaining hostages. NOT validating the electoral farce of the government and its official opposition, as well as the categorical rejection of an illegitimate call for a Constitutional Referendum on a socialist Constitution, must be an integral part of that solution. Otherwise kidnapping and crimes will continue indefinitely…
Caracas, October 12, 2018