And after Maduro what?

By Luis Manuel Aguana

The political dynamics that have arisen from the authorization of the prosecution of Nicolás Maduro for corruption is defining the route that the events that, with the favor of God and Venezuelans, will follow will end with the narcomilitarized tyranny that governs in Venezuela.

Indeed, the legitimate TSJ has requested and been granted the authorization to prosecute Nicolás Maduro Moros for corruption by the National Assembly. This is an irrefutable fact, regardless of the ways in which such authorisation was granted, regardless of the opinion advanced by some jurists regarding the agreement voted for by a majority on 17 April. The bottom line is that Maduro was granted a trial and is now in office illegally.

On April 26, 2018, Dr. José Vicente Haro and Dr. Blanca Rosa Rosa Mármol de León, well-known and distinguished Venezuelan lawyers of unquestionable seriousness, addressed formal communication to the National Assembly (see in https://twitter.com/JOSEVICENTEHARO/status/989625760813060099?s=03), so that this body may determine the constitutional legal status of the Presidency of the Republic, following the Agreement of April 17, 2017, regarding the trial of Nicolás Maduro Moros in the Odebrecht case.

This document clearly states that Maduro must be separated from his functions as effectively established in Article 380 of the COPP (Organic Code of Criminal Procedure) when a corruption trial was initiated against him: “Article 380. Once the necessary procedures for the prosecution have been completed, the official shall be suspended and disqualified from holding any public office during the proceedings.”.

The political consequences of this fact are categorical and cannot be ignored; and it is strange that this has been left off the record since the authorization of the trial. The person holding the office of President of the Republic may not continue to hold the office and is temporarily separated until the trial is over, his situation remaining pending a ruling by the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice, the body that hears the case. So today we have a vacancy in the Presidency of the Republic in Venezuela that must be filled immediately in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Then, the work of the National Assembly did not end with the authorization of the trial of Nicolás Maduro Moros, being very far from having rid itself of the responsibility that they have with the Venezuelans.

The lawyers' document is categorical and it is up to the Deputies to make a decision in accordance with this request as to who should be exercising the Presidency of the Republic at this time in accordance with the current Constitution.

However, regardless of what the National Assembly's ultimate constitutional solution to Venezuela's presidential succession may be, there is something in this entire history that goes unnoticed and the reason for this note: new elections cannot be held in Venezuela as long as: a) there is a perverted electoral system, and b) the entire institutional system created to sustain the regime over the past 20 years is not dismantled.
The first condition we have reviewed in depth in this blog for several years, so I will save you the trouble. For those interested, please read my notes on this site since 2011 regarding the CNE and the Venezuelan electoral system.

In the case of the second condition, the matter is more complicated. Venezuelans have been convinced that just leaving Maduro is enough to make things better. No, it's not enough. It is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It is necessary to return to the minimum constitutional controls and to the basic institutional forms of government control, as well as to discuss new ones, resulting from the destruction of the country and the new international scenarios.

But how do we do that if Miraflores' next heir is born with the original sin of the 1999 Constitution? With all that concentrated power to appoint ministers in ministries invented at will, military promotions without control, to create and destroy institutions, to dispose of the money of all Venezuelans at their own discretion, to name but a few of their attributions, anyone who occupies the presidential post will lead us to ruin, if that is now possible. Whatever Mother Teresa of Calcutta may be, if we can revive her and convince her to become President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

From a strictly political and constitutional point of view, sooner rather than later, the trial against Maduro and his government of criminals must lead to his replacement. However, it cannot be that this substitution is to call for elections', as the politicians of the official opposition shout. That substitution must be to lead the government and guarantee governability in the worst epoch of our history, for a period sufficient to reorder the State, and then to assure Venezuelans of the election of new public powers with a clean and sanitized institutional system.

That is our basic demand. The choirs of all the official opposition repeat like a mantra to Venezuelans that once we leave Maduro - which is difficult enough as it is - we will make elections and abundance will come. What a pain in the ass to keep lying to people! It seems that nothing has been learned.

So, and after Maduro what?  If we do not change the country's institutional system thoroughly before any election, those who once felt hopeful about immediate change will feel betrayed and rightly so. And there will be no future electoral promise to save us from suffering again what took so much blood to resolve, entering an endless cycle of instability and violence. Why do you think we will not rest until we make Venezuelans understand that the formal, correct and institutional way to avoid this is to change the country's institutional system with a call to the Original Constituent through a Popular Consultation that gives the people the prerogative to change their future? From the National Constituent Alliance (ANCO) we will continue working on that no matter what happens in the country.

You will say that fatalistic looks such an assertion, and it really is. It makes no sense that we Venezuelans have gone through 20 years of suffering if we do not come out of this with a lesson for the future, translated into great changes that will correct the mistakes that brought us to this tragedy. If we don't correct them all together, it won't have been worth the death and pain of the Venezuelan family. That depends on us and on you...

Caracas, May 3, 2018

Twitter:@laguana