Choose your transition

By Luis Manuel Aguana

It is an interesting debate that arises in the country when it comes to the urgent issue of the need for a Transitional Government, and even more so when it comes to how long this supposed government should be in office, especially without saying how we will get there.

Without exception, all the "oppositions" - as Prof. Agustín Blanco Muñoz would say - in the country talk about what will be done during this transition but nobody says how we will get there, beyond waiting for the famous "social explosion" that does not come, with the intervention of the military to restore the validity of the constitution. The Venezuelan political class has a lot of experience in saying what they will do when they are in power but none when it comes to getting their heads in the game about how to get out of a dictatorship constitutionally.

The truth is that there are no serious proposals to offer the country from the political opposition that effectively lead to the exit of the regime, other than that fraudulent electoral route of the MUD and its new cover; it is the only one that can be used; or those who hope that this will end by itself, aspiring to see a Civic-Military Junta leading a transition led by a military man, most likely from the rows of Chavism, because they are the ones who have control of the Armed Forces. Now it turns out that the other opposition solution is to put at the head those who have mercilessly trampled on the human rights of Venezuelans. They'll say that's the way politics is....

This being so, possibly for the classical opposition politician, the struggle for political power to arrive at a presumed next "Republic" would be reduced to identifying who is or are more advanced in the military conspiracy, by filling a position in that Junta to be formed. And once again, another turn in the endless cycle that has been Venezuela's political history would begin.

In short, while one part of the political country is trying to take the country to the electoral slaughterhouse, the other part that does not agree has no other choice but to wait for the events to take place, even pushing in some cases for them to materialize into a Civic-Military Junta, betting that this will fall as soon as possible, suggesting that when this happens the political forces will have to regroup in a sort of new equation.

So that is how things have been going up to now in the opposition sector: some seeking to lead us to vote without explaining to us how we will solve the very serious problem of a Constituent Assembly that will do what it pleases with what happens before and after these "elections"; and others, who, while they deny the fraudulent electoral solution, do not finish explaining to us how this much-vaunted transition will take place, other than by waiting for a military uprising. From my point of view, I don't know which one is worse.

From the first opposition group I can expect anything, because they are betting on living with the regime, even if they "win" - or let them "win" - those elections, because they are tolerating going to an electoral act called by an unconstitutional Constituent not recognized worldwide. But of the second group we must reflect much more carefully.

There is a management saying that doing nothing is a decision. If the political opposition that rejects the call for elections decides to "wait" for something to happen, it is definitely dead. It is not enough to tell people that what is coming on May 20, or by the time the regime decides to make those election, is a fraud with the full force of the law, and that its results will be rejected by everyone. It is necessary to direct the actions and propose concrete paths that will be followed by a people eager for political leadership.

If what this opposition is waiting for is for this to fall just because the country can't stand it anymore, and that's why the Armed Forces must intervene, specifically the Chavismo military of the 4F because they control the military army quarters, it's difficult for Venezuelans to have guarantees that what's coming next will be better. We will indeed have the hope of a change for a better future because Maduro is gone, but only that, the hope, not the guarantee.

Why are we insisting on a solution where the people decide? Because we in civil society cannot stand by and wait for something to happen. We are the mourners of this monumental disaster and we cannot wait any longer. The approach of a Popular Consultation that clearly expresses the route to follow, leaves no gap unsealed.

First, we can call it at any time and its effects must be respected. Second, it decides to dismantle the regime and its unconstitutional institutions from the hands of those of us who are the repositories of sovereignty. Thirdly, it orders how a Transitional Government should be appointed, guaranteeing its legitimacy of origin. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it guarantees and orders that this change of government be decided among all the political forces from within a constituency legitimately elected in a National Constituent Assembly of an Original character.

Why do political forces dismiss this path and even sabotage it? Because no one - especially the military or any of these figures who publicly dispute political power - would have control of that Transitional Government, only the people through their legitimately elected representatives in an Original Constituent Assembly.

If we Venezuelans decide in a Popular Consultation on the solution to this crisis, the compliance of the military, regardless of whether they are Chavistas of the 4F, Maduristas of the High Command, institutional, or indifferent, have the obligation to comply with this direct mandate, in obedience due to the Civil Power of the Venezuelan people. If we keep waiting for the situation to get worse and worse without doing anything, we will be choosing the transition to come. Now, you choose your transition. I decided which one I want for Venezuela...

Caracas, March 19, 2018

Twitter:@laguana