Let's prosecute Maduro

By Luis Manuel Aguana

The eyes of the world are again on the National Assembly of Venezuela awaiting its decision in relation to the request of the trial of Nicolás Maduro Moros made by the TSJ that they named.

I have the same concern of the whole world because I have the unpleasant impression that if the deputies did not act as expected by the people of Venezuela on the 16J, after the fulminating vote and mandate to those who represent us, then how could we expect it to be different in this time?

However, things are different now. At this time, and particularly after July 30, 2017, when the regime, ignoring the people's decision to reject a Constituent Assembly not born of popular sovereignty on July 16, 2017, mounted itself on the National Assembly, restricting its constitutional powers and turning the deputies legitimately elected by the people on December 6, 2015, into disposable cards that it persecutes at will.

Although the National Assembly has tried to impose itself on the mamotretto elected by Nicolás Maduro on July 30, 2017, practically the Legislative Power of the country has been annulled by the superpower of the Constituent Assembly of Maduro led by Delcy Rodríguez. And although the National Assembly formally exists, in practice it is an entelechy in danger of definitive extinction by the dictatorship, awaiting its death sentence in a dungeon. That sentence will become effective when that unconstitutional Constituent imposes its disappearance with a new Constitution that is being finalized in Cuba.

So the deputies are not in the same dilemma of 17J-2017 when the previous day they had the full support of the Venezuelan people in a Popular Consultation. No. Now they are prisoners of a regime that openly threatens them, so making a decision in favor of prosecuting the head of this whole criminal racket has a different connotation than when they were able to do something with the greatest political support that has ever existed in Venezuela.

Personally, I don't think they'll immolate themselves and I'll explain why. The legal controversy over how many deputies are needed to authorize the prosecution of Maduro has already begun. Some say that 2/3 of the members are required as indicated in Art. 110 of the Law of the TSJ, and others say no because the Constitution, the superior law, does not indicate it. I'm not going into that legal discussion that's ultimately political. If the Assembly decides to authorize the prosecution of Maduro, it won't be because of that. The legal has always come after the political, and there will invariably be a legal justification for that decision.

But there's one aspect that few people walk around in. Is this National Assembly in a position to make that decision? I don't think so. It is as if a prisoner or hostage were being asked to make a decision against his jailer or hostage taker. Will you be able to make him free of conscience knowing that he may be tortured or persecuted by his kidnapper if he does not vote according to his wishes? This is without counting those who are bought by the kidnapper and who I don't count because I hope they are isolated cases (remember that they will bury me in a white urn).

The situation of opposition parties in the National Assembly is also not the most promising. Many Members have strayed from their parties and formed new political factions, one of them precisely on the occasion of what happened on 16 July 2017. The recent case of the division of the UNT party with the new parliamentary faction called Prociudadanos is another example of the opposition atomization in the National Assembly. The current conglomerate of opposing deputies shows nowhere near that unity of December 2015, and of course different interests. Many of them support going to elections with the government on May 20 and it may not even be in their interest or that of their parties to try Nicolas Maduro.

In that sense, if we are talking about a decision that compromises the future of all Venezuelans, shouldn't we make that decision? Shouldn't the National Assembly, knowing the political situation in which it finds itself, step aside and let Venezuelans decide what to do with Nicolás Maduro Moros in a Popular Consultation?

But that may be asking too much. Or maybe not. Perhaps the compromise solution for them, without exposing them to the general repudiation of the population for not doing what they should do, which is nothing more than authorizing the prosecution of Nicolás Maduro for a case of widespread corruption, as is the case of Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and which has already led to the imprisonment of a former president in Brazil, is for the people of Venezuela to decide. Let it not be the Members of Parliament but their constituents who take that decision. Let's prosecute Maduro.

Citizens Deputies: let the people of Venezuela authorize the prosecution of Nicolás Maduro Moros. Let the spirit of April 19, 1810 be reborn in Venezuela when the people decided the fate of the Captain General of Venezuela, Don Vicente Emparan. Maybe that is the beginning of the change that is needed, as happened with our Declaration of Independence and the promulgation of our first Constitution ...

Caracas, April 16, 2018

Twitter:@laguana