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Between demand and reward, a Transitional Government

By Luis Manuel Aguana

One of the most striking scenes of the extraordinary film "Darkest Hour" starring Gary Oldman in the role of Sir Winston Churchill, who tells the story of a crucial period in Britain during World War II, and the transcendental decisions that the Prime Minister had to make as the main leader of the war, is when he decides to declare that his country will not surrender, after an encounter with a group of civilians in the Underground who convince him that the United Kingdom must face fascism, and that they will fight until the end for their country. Ordinary people erased Churchill's doubts about whether or not to negotiate an armistice with the enemy, provoking his historic speech in the House of Commons.

Recognizing historical differences, this is the same situation that Venezuelan politicians of the official opposition face with the appointment of a Transitional Government by the National Assembly, only that these, unlike Churchill, are ignoring the people who shout to them that there can be no possible negotiation with the criminals who rule this country. That meeting in the Underground of the British leader with his people, hearing “live and direct” what the people thought gave him the fundamental support he needed to put his soul (restearse) before his party and declare that only the dead would give up the island. That is the size of the commitment of a political leadership that understands the gravity of its situation.

Contrary to the advice that says "don't clarify it because you’re making it darker", I will try to explain a Twitter message that sparked a controversy on the net, after Dr. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León published in her twitter account that "There is talk of an agreement with the regime negotiated by Deputies of AD and UNT guaranteeing AN control presided over by Guaidó so that NM is recognized by the AN, and in August, general elections would be held. In the first two months of the year the CNE would be named; The ANC and TSJ remain intact". (see in Spanish https://twitter.com/BMarmoldeLeon/status/1075553048758501377).

Note that Dr. Mármol was not making a statement that requires her to give any explanation or "make excuses" as some have indicated. In my opinion, she was giving a warning by saying "there is talk going on", because this was already on social networks with explicit indication of the characters and location in the country where the negotiation had taken place. The politicians jumped immediately to deny it, to the point that at their request Dr. Mármol de León published the following message: "I received a call from Guaidó, for which I thank him, in which he assures me that in the exercise of his presidency in the National Assembly, Maduro will not be recognized as president of Venezuela. He also assures me that the agreement to which I referred in the previous tweet is false". (see https://twitter.com/BMarmoldeLeon/status/1075813817836298246).

I replied to this last message from Dr. Mármol de León with the following twit: "They have said that they will not recognize Maduro. THAT'S NOT THE PROBLEM. The problem is that they tolerate him in exchange for elections and do not immediately fill the Power Void as is their constitutional obligation. Is Guaidó willing to fulfill the mandate of the 16J? That's the problem!” (see https://twitter.com/laguana/status/1075826016558481413).

That response of mine generated around 70,000 messages on Twitter, with positions for and against the reality or falsehood of that negotiation. Personally, I do believe that they have negotiated even if they deny it. We have plenty of history of them saying something and then we prove the contrary. But that's the least of it. What is important is whether or not they are going to comply with their Constitutional obligation to fill that Power Vacuum that has already been sentenced as a direct consequence of the conviction of Nicolás Maduro Moros for Corruption and Legitimation of Capitals. This was an obligation of the National Assembly from that very moment, whether with its current Directive presiding or with its next Directive after January 5. There is no need to wait until January 10, which has been set as a sublime date for something that they could well have done and should have done months ago, specifically since October 29, 2018, the date of the publication of Maduro's sentence.

If the Directive that hands over on January 5, 2019 did not comply with this obligation, the following question is: will this new Directive submit this consideration to the Deputies? Omar Barboza refused to do so, which is why Venezuelans think they -OB and his own- have negotiated with the regime. That is a very valid presumption by those of us who voted in the 16Jul-2017 Referendum for a change of public powers resulting from the January 2017 Agreement Declaring Nicolás Maduro's Abandonment of Office. Now it is MANDATORY, not only because on January 1 a new presidential term must begin with a validly elected president, but because the current one should be locked up for being corrupt.

Now, I’ve been advised by twitter:"Does Guaidó have an army at its disposal, real capacity or command to instruct the National Armed Forces, such that "the mandate of the 16J is followed"? Won't that be the problem: to continue wishing and asking for what is not possible?". And this is really the perception of many Venezuelans: that deputies "can't do anything”. And that is not true. The TSJ-L Magistrates who fled the country after being validly appointed by the National Assembly did do something; they acted on an accusation trying Maduro and convicted him, and also sentenced a makeover of the electoral system in Venezuela. The fact that these sentences have not yet materialized is not a reason for not having formulated them. A government designated legitimately and constitutionally, even if it is not holding office and dispatching from Miraflores, can do a great deal to remove these criminals from power.

As I wrote in a Twit replying to that: "Nobody is asking the deputies to take up arms to evict the dictator. But it is up to them to appoint a government. When our Independence was declared in 1811, it was not only to sign the Act but to make it effective. But you had to have the courage to sign the Act..." (see https://twitter.com/laguana/status/1075943385284968449).

And that last sentence is actually the bottom line of this whole problem. Going back to the example of Independence, if the deputies of the 1811 Congress had said, "if we sign that Act there will be a war that we cannot endure and there will be deaths, many of whom are here", and it would have been true. But their overriding determination was the sense of what had to be done in favor of a new country and the formation of a new Republic. They did what they had to do. They could have left it at that, but they didn't. And that sense of history, no matter how hard I try to see it, I don't see it reflected in the current deputies. What you can see is negotiation and politicking.

It was up to the 1811 deputies to do what they did, and they did it. The war was fought by those who had to do it. They did it and won it, with the cost in lives of half the population. It’s not a hard situation, it’s a very hard situation, and when those responsible assume their historical commitment, the Nation progresses. That is the sense and the dimension of the oath they take when they assume the responsibility: "May God and the Fatherland reward you, and if not, may they demand it"....

And that's what I'm modestly doing here, demanding it. If between now and January 10, 2019, with or without a new Directive, the Deputies do not assume their commitment to the country, we will deduce that they negotiated the permanence of the regime. At that moment, other Venezuelans, invested with the authority of the Supreme Court of Justice - Legitimate, according to Art. 333 of the Constitution, will have that responsibility accordingly. It will be to them that God and the Fatherland will reward.

Caracas, December 22, 2018

Twitter:@laguana

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