Hard lesson

By Luis Manuel Aguana

The election results of last Sunday, October 15 corroborate that who plays in an arranged roulette always loses. The painful thing about this is not that the official opposition has fueled the hope of Venezuelans indicating that if "with this CNE" we won 6D-2015, why we were not going to win now, but after the barbarity of the July 30 fraud where 8.1 million votes that no one saw in the polling stations, recognized by the entire international community and by the same Smartmatic, who in their right mind was not going to think that the CNE arranged roulette put the result as it pleased 15-O.

I will not go in here to analyze how they did it. I have done it countless times, but if you wish you can review my paper in the Pío Tamayo Chair of the UCV of October 21, 2013, 4 years ago! “La perversión del sistema electoral automatizado y sus consecuencias políticas” in http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2015/08/la-perversion-del-sistema-electoral.html. Maybe I can give you some insight into what happened on 15-O, where the regime changes the results at will because it has the little machines to do it.

What I want to do now is not a declaration of "we told them", it would be disrespectful to the millions of people who, trusting in their political leadership, believed that they would have an outcome in line with what is really happening in the country: that we reject them majority. But what ended up doing Venezuela was to confirm that if there are those 8.1 million who voted for that unconstitutional constituent of the regime, because now they appear together people and votes with a result official. My frustration and annoyance now has no limits and that I did not vote. I cannot imagine the one who did it with a lot of sacrifice to see the cheesy and proven traps of the CNE in this election ...

My grandmother used to say that people don't learn in other people's heads. I have never campaigned for abstention. I only said that abstention in dictatorship is civic protest. And I'm in civic protest in the electoral field since 2013 (see Porque no les daré mi voto, en http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2013/11/porque-no-les-dare-mi-voto.html) where I stated publicly that I would not continue to cohabitate with that system until there is a change in the electoral system in Venezuela and our vote really reflects the will of the voters. And it still doesn't reflect that, as the 15-O was actually demonstrated and Venezuelans must recognize that now.

I ended that note by indicating that abstentionism only exists in democracy. In dictatorship what must exist is civic protest expressed in Nonviolent Struggle. And I still think so, and now more than ever since we characterized what happens in Venezuela as a dictatorship, declaring that we are assuming Article 350 of the Constitution from the National Assembly itself. What strikes me is that having done that, we Venezuelans would all go out to corroborate and legitimize that completely illegal Electoral Power. It is high time we started to be consistent with what we say and then do.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, this guy says this because we lost and he's happy about it”. My answer to that would be that we didn't lose, and I'm not happy with those results. We did not lose because there is still a peaceful belief in our population that we can resolve our differences with the most important act of democracy, which is voting. But that vote must and must be in conditions where it is guaranteed that what we vote counts and that is not happening, even though the official opposition will tell us the tale of cowboys that as “we have witnesses” we can win, or because the theory of the “avalanche of votes” works. Get out of that cloud with these communists who have an infallible system to win always.

I am not happy with what is happening either, quite the opposite. I feel like I've been saying the same thing for years to a wall that can't hear. The problem is not whether we vote or not. The problem is that we first have to solve the fundamental problem of replacing the regime and then go on to solve everything else, including the electoral thing that is completely flawed, from the Electoral Registry to the system of counting votes. And it is a complete contradiction - not to mention stupid - to try to solve the former when the latter is still cheated.

You'll tell me, but how do we get these people out without votes? Ahhhhh, good question. If you have declared that we are in a dictatorship, then we have to act seriously accordingly and revise the international formulas to deal with that. Let's start with Gene Sharp or any other author of Nonviolent Struggle. Let us wage a struggle that is coherent with the discourse. Let us not accompany the regime no matter how much the opposition leadership insists that they have tanks and guns and we do not. Let us make a struggle in each State, each Municipality, each Parish but assuming the correct and coherent attitude.

In the National Constituent Alliance, we proposed before the Maduro’s Constituent Assembly that we convene a National Constituent Assembly on the initiative of the people, gathering the 15% established in Article 348, outside of all Constituent Power, especially the electoral one, assuming as we did the constitutional disobedience. We were not heard because we were always put ahead of “the electoral way”. Well, now we are changing the strategy and soon we will offer a similar route, but that means that we will use what has been achieved so far in the opposition institutions, but that will require a lot of courage and awareness on the part of those of us who elect as Deputies in 2015, that we will not know if it will exist until the circumstances present themselves, and if they are really in the game of removing the regime, and not of living with it.

I think that from now on the country has gained a lot of awareness of what we had before 15-O. It's a hard lesson we all have to learn. Opposing political leadership must and must change after this "defeat". And I put it in quotation marks because the regime won again with a trap, it did not defeat the opposition Venezuela. But we'll be assholes if we keep playing with that casino run by the CNE madamas without fixing things before another election. Consequently, the approach to the fight must change and so must the conductors...

Caracas, October 16, 2017