Until they stop being

By Luis Manuel Aguana

“Geopolitics focuses on political power in relation to geographic space. In particular, territorial waters and land territory in correlation with diplomatic history. Academically, geopolitics analyses history and social science with reference to geography in relation to politics(see Geopolítics, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geopolitics).

Understanding this broad definition, geopolitics is a discipline of political thought that analyzes the political problems of countries from a global, broader perspective, putting within the analysis the interests of other countries and cultures, focusing the lens much higher than what we normally do with domestic political analysis, allowing us to give a broader explanation that includes variables that are not normally taken into consideration but that can have a decisive influence on local events.

If we look at it from the perspective of systems theory, analysing political events in a country as a closed system, taking into account only internal variables is much simpler than incorporating the outside world as an open system. And when external variables, for different reasons, become more influential than internal variables, you must necessarily open the system in order to be able to find explanations for the behavior of the system as a whole. However, this does not mean that the external variables prevail over the internal ones, but rather that they become more representative of the general behavior, if you want to know what the system will do in the future.

Once this brief initial explanation has been made, geopolitical analysis of the situation in Venezuela is already beginning to circulate, giving a high probability that the weight of the external political variables is so determinant that the influence of the internal variables on the total result becomes completely negligible. In other words, whatever we do in Venezuela will prevail as a fatal design whatever is decided outside of our country (see one of the best I have read at https://doncorneliano.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/our-hemisphere-4-alea-iacta-est/amp/?__twitter_impression=true). And that, in my opinion, is a mistake.

Certainly the external variables due to their weight are indeed determinant but depend on the internal ones, they are not independent. On what basis can I say that? Things have not yet changed significantly, with foreign factors waiting for the right triggers in Venezuela, and the first to be expected is that of the Armed Forces. Many believe that the armed institution can bring about such a change based solely on internal institutional and democratic factors. And I think that's a long way from happening.

From my father, Dr. Raúl Aguana Figuera, who educated several generations of officers in the classrooms of the Military Academy of Venezuela-ANV and the former School of Training of Officers of the Armed Forces of Cooperation-EFOFAC (today the GNB), I learned a saying that is well known by all the military and that explains itself: “The military is with the government until they stop being”. And until now they are still with the regime as an institutional whole.

Whoever maintains that an approach of change that comes from within and provokes an internal rupture so that the Institution goes through with everything and supplies and "stops being with the government", is rejecting the degree of decomposition of the military Institution, product of the systematic destruction of the Venezuelan Armed Forces carried out by Hugo Chávez Frías and his fatal successor, when they changed an institution structured by a band of politically indoctrinated militiamen, which makes it impossible to sustain "the three fundamental pillars on which the organization, administration, operation and unity of command of the FAN rest, such as DISCIPLINE, OBEDIENCE and SUBORDINATION". Without these pillars it is difficult to think that the solution of the problem comes only from a group that from within "decides" to impose a new state of things by changing the institutional whole (se in Spanish Doce Ejes y Un Destino: 10) Institucionalización de las Fuerzas Armadas, en http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/10/doce-ejes-y-un-destino-10.html).

It is hard to believe that with this decomposition, a readjustment to the inner workings of the Armed Forces as it happened in 1958, or in any of the break-up movements that took place historically in the past -a traditional coup-, the regime will be destroyed. If there is any possibility of that, it would be because the same factors that control the institution do it -as happened in 2002- and even so, it would be uphill, since the entire military institution is currently severely guarded by a politically controlled intelligence structure as it is in Cuba, something that did not happen in 2002, nor before 2002. Testimony to this is the failure of the last military attempts made to make themselves known on the networks, with an unknown number of officers arrested (or killed, we don't know) in the last few hours, when trying to rise up against a regime that has advanced without stopping a process of destruction of the country for almost 20 years.

The military in our countries is the last frontier. That is why, if there is a firm belief, both nationally and internationally, that nothing can be done in an institutional way, they are called upon to take control of the situation. And that's what seems to be happening now, where political and military groups are actively negotiating a settlement, where each of them is making their own "government plan" for after a supposed collapse of the regime, seeking the external credibility required for their leaders in the international community.

Please do not misunderstand these remarks. I am as desperate as any Venezuelan for this situation to change, but it is not by betting on despair, let alone taking advantage of it, that a convenient change will be achieved for Venezuelans. And I say this because the opinion of Venezuela seems to be divided between those who want to take us to a continuous electoral slaughterhouse -the regime and the collaborationist MUD- and those who are betting on a social explosion that leads to a military solution, the latter being the scenario that is synchronized with the design of the geopolitical analysis described at the beginning of this article.

If the only thing that is shown outside as a way out of the problem are the military, because that is what has been sold, without having a political solution that includes them institutionally, beyond a simple coup, the same thing will continue to happen in recent days: more military prisoners and degraded.

A solution must be found that makes all the military see the regime's support as unviable, not just a handful of them, and this is only achieved by creating a political mechanism that puts them as an institutional whole in that firing range. And that mechanism, even if it wants to ignore the official opposition for petty and group interests, or international opinion still does not know it, is to consult with the Venezuelan people, as was done on 16J, the future that it wishes for the Nation, as proposed by ANCO to the country (see An Alternative Agenda for Venezuela, in Spanish http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2018/02/manifiesto-gran-alianza-por-la-consulta.html).

If the external variables, highly dependent on the internal ones, are correctly directed towards that common goal, we will make that "until they stop being" of the military saying, with a consequent change towards a democratic direction of the country. It would be to place the inevitable external in function of the internal possible, but under the control of all Venezuelans, consulting the population the direction of change, and not under the design of any of the interested groups and of which we only know their appetite for the power. Otherwise the same change will happen irremediably but one will be change towards an uncertain destiny, full of sectarian interests and highly unstable ...

Caracas, March 8, 2018

Twitter:@laguana