Two Venezuelas

By Luis Manuel Aguana

In the current state of the political situation in the country, it is difficult to make forecasts. The Venezuelans stopped waiting for something that did not stop happening as the regime successfully moved forward in destroying the little that remained. People are fleeing Venezuela. Those people who pass by thousands across the border into Colombia and Brazil are not the "rich" fleeing communism, they are paradoxically the poor whose lives became unviable in today's Venezuela. Either they go or they don't eat, it's as simple as that. That is our reality to this day.

While Maduro and his regime are destroying the economy and our Republican way of life, the remaining Venezuelans are still debating how to deal with this problem. How do we stop the bleeding from the wound that has been done to our country and not die in the attempt. We could say without fear of being mistaken that Venezuela has divided into two groups: those who believe that the solution will come from within the country, and those who believe that within Venezuela there is nothing more to do because the institutional framework is destroyed, and that international aid is needed to solve the problem.

Both Venezuelas are at odds. The first group, let's call it the local solution group, has a polychromy that goes from looking for an electoral way to coexist with the regime "until this is resolved", of course without giving a clear time horizon beyond indicating that they "won" the next electoral process, to the most belligerent groups that reject the electoral solutions but without saying clearly what the way of struggle is beyond demanding that the regime "resigns" from its functions, appealing to social pressure, prelude to another bloodbath in the streets.

The second group, let's call it the international solution group, is based on the assumption that in Venezuela it will hardly get its head up due to the situation of institutional kidnapping of all the public authorities, including the National Assembly, which makes it more difficult every day to dislodge a regime that has stuck itself like poison ivy to the trunk of the country, to the point that it is killing it. The solution in this case is for the international community to come to our aid to cut the ivy and clean the dying tree.

Both groups are incompatible, to the point that the former sabotages the latter. The local solution group thinks that an intervention that they do not control - and could not control even if they wanted to - would not be welcome, and consequently they lobby internationally and move politically to ruin the efforts being made to achieve any solution that ends in a humanitarian intervention in Venezuela, even if the regime puts us in prison and we are dying of hunger and disease.

Meanwhile, the international solution group says that without the support of the country's political, economic, social, and ecclesiastical sectors, it would be difficult to convince an international force - and particularly the United States - to support the rescue of democracy and freedom in Venezuela, since the international community would not see us united for the same purpose. They insist that the main sectors that make life in Venezuela possible must be convinced so that this humanitarian intervention can be made possible.

Result: Neither of us has the solution to the problem, but both of us have the solution to the problem. It looks contradictory but it's not. The truth is that the international community, and in particular the United States government, has grown tired of welcoming the many representatives of the Venezuelan opposition, each with a different idea of how to solve the problem caused by the regime. And that makes sense. I can imagine hearing them say: When they agree on what they want to do and how they want to do it, let them come up with a plan and then we help them'. And that will never happen in the present conditions with two opposing Venezuelan groups with two different visions of the problem. And in the meantime the regime raging with us in the country.

Could both positions be reconciled? I don't know. Remember that the interests of the political groups in Venezuela are above the interests of the country. Is that hard? Otherwise, the matter would have been resolved a long time ago. And how? An unrestricted support from the National Assembly for its own exiled magistrates and the High Court they constituted would provide the political solution par excellence to achieve a National Emergency Governing Council that would lead and coordinate actions from abroad to force a peaceful solution to the problem in Venezuela with the help of a multinational force.

This is how the international community would see us together and coordinated to tackle a problem that they are as or more interested in solving than we are as well. It is not an issue that groups outside or inside are right. The point is that the interests of all must be put aside in favour of the country. It seems like a common place to repeat it but you have to do it thousands of times to see if you understand it. You don't need to agree on everything, you just need to be willing to walk a long way together to get out of the problem.

But we are also Venezuelans: "Compared to a group of 45 countries from all over the world, Venezuela proved to have one of the highest rates in need of power. Similar cultural traits have appeared repeatedly in other studies on the cultural identity of Venezuelans" (1) According to this, no one in Venezuela will cede power even if it means the suffering of people. No political sector will yield to a government in which it does not participate or in which it does not have any influence, so a more drastic solution is needed than the interests of third parties in this equation.

In an exercise in political fiction, former Ambassador Diego Arria, former President of the UN Security Council, circulated a press release on social networking sites indicating what might happen after a very possible UN Security Council decision, which we reproduce in full in this blog (see in Spanish Gobierno de Emergencia Nacional de Venezuela, at http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2018/07/gobierno-de-emergencia-nacional-de.html). He used to make it one of many notes published when the Security Council authorized a multinational force to restore democracy in Haiti in 1994, only changing the country's name to Venezuela.

According to that note, based entirely on UN Security Council Resolution 940 of 1994, "Approval of the establishment of a UNIH advance group to restore democracy in Haiti and the prompt return of the legitimately elected President and the authorities of the Government of Haiti, and to extend the mandate of UNMIH" (see UN Security Council Resolution 940 http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/940(1994) ) There is no impediment for the UN Security Council not to do the same for Venezuela, except that there is a legitimate Venezuelan government to whom to hand over power.

Read this last point carefully: Venezuela's political solution lies in the fact that we must first agree on the appointment of a legitimate government to lead joint coordination with this multinational force. Whether this government leaves the National Assembly or the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice in exile is not the problem of the international community, but it is our problem. And it is absolutely necessary to evict those who illegitimately exercise power in Venezuela, as happened in Haiti in 1994.

We have already introduced the request to the legitimate TSJ in exile for the appointment of a National Emergency Governing Council (see complete request in Spanish at https://tinyurl.com/y7x87ldb), and there is also a ruling by the High Court that urges the need for the National Assembly to fill the power vacuum under the Constitution (see the ruling of the Supreme Court in Spanish at https://twitter.com/TSJ_Legitimo/status/1014611587745886211). What are the two Powers waiting for, jointly or separately?

Caracas, July 21, 2018

Twitter:@laguana

(1)   Managing Culture for Success, Challenges and opportunities in Venezuela, Granell, Graraway, Malpica, Ediciones IESA 1997, Pág. 21, ISBN 980-217-189-1