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Confusion State

By Luis Manuel Aguana

As in any self-respecting tyranny, the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros applies a curfew and a suspension of our constitutional guarantees on behalf of the COVID-19 through Decree 4.160 for State of Exception, in its modality of State of Alarm, published in the Extraordinary Official Gazette 6.519 of March 13, 2020 (see in Spanish Decreto 4.160, in However, judging by the behavior of the regime's political actors and its official opposition, what we have in Venezuela is not a state of exception but confusion. There is no need for Maduro to put in black and white a decree that can take the people away, keep them under curfew or repress them as and when he pleases, he is already doing so. In fact, no one is doing what they should be doing, even though under the regime such behavior has been their natural state because of their authoritarian condition.

To make matters worse, the regime is using the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the population contained by depleting the resources it has less and less to sustain the stability of its government. Reports from all over the country point to a very serious shortage of fuel, to the point that what is left is being used by the security forces dedicated to repressing a people who are asking for food and water, not to mention the most basic services such as electricity, public transport and health. The regime is no longer technically capable of providing them.

And there will be less and less logistical capacity to transport food to popular markets in Caracas. The country's capital produces nothing. All the food comes from the interior, particularly from the western states. The authorities do not allow suppliers access to fuel to bring in the food that is required in the capital, despite the fact that the Decree expressly states the opposite in Article 20: "Adequate coordination shall be established to guarantee full essential supply of goods and services to the population”.

In addition, these suppliers are increasingly refusing to make trips to the capital because they are forced to leave a large part of their merchandise to the voracity of the security forces in the dozens of barracks they have set up, where they hammer those who bring in the food. Under this scenario, it is very difficult for the regime to keep a destitute population locked up under an inhuman curfew, without the most elementary services, and while demanding that they do not leave their homes by means of a decree that suppresses constitutional guarantees.

In other countries this state of affairs can be sustained by the presence of COVID-19 because they have the resources to keep people in their homes. In Venezuela, this is inapplicable in the conditions the country has been experiencing since before the emergence of the pandemic. What should the regime do if it imposes a State of Alarm such as the one described in Decree 4.160? In the first place, guarantee all the population that there will be water and food at the door of their homes to all Venezuelans, particularly the most destitute population. Is this regime capable of doing that? Clearly not, as it has not been able to do so until now without COVID-19, which makes this Decree a time bomb of social instability, and conspires against its political stability. If there were politicians and not criminals running the country, the situation would have been different long ago. Consequently, in this COVID-19 crisis, the regime's side is not doing what it should be doing, perhaps not because they don't want to but because they cannot, having destroyed Venezuela.

While it is true that the regime's behavior in this crisis can be understood because everything they do is in response to a behavior that castrates freedoms, in the case of the official opposition the confusion is not tolerable. On January 10, 2019, it was constitutionally incumbent upon Juan Guaidó Márquez to become the President in Charge of the Republic, with ONE AND ONLY MISSION: to achieve the cessation of the usurpation of Nicolás Maduro Moros, to constitute a transitional government to carry out free elections from Castro-Chavism-Madurism. Everything that the President in charge does or does not do must have only to do with that. Hence, to see Guaidó trying to "govern" makes no sense at all. First of all because his actions have absolutely no effect on the well-being of Venezuelans, and anything he does has to be related to leaving the Maduro regime because that is the job he has to do. And the fight against COVID-19 is not part of that, although saying it may be hateful to many people.

Guaidó apart from whipping Maduro for having the country in ruins and in the worst conditions to survive the COVID-19 crisis, he should be taking concrete actions to get Maduro out of power, among others that the International Community gives us the necessary forceful help, PRECISELY because the only way to solve the COVID-19 crisis and avoid its expansion causing a mortality that spreads throughout the region. If that does not convince them, nothing will. And if they don't help us, then he must be making drastic and visible decisions to immediately achieve his only mission because the lives of Venezuelans are at stake in a matter of days.

Guaidó's job is not to take on tasks or give recommendations to stop the expansion of COVID-19 in the country. That is a job for the person in power in Venezuela, not for him who has not yet taken it on. His job is to become IN BRIEF the one who exercises that power to solve this crisis, among other reasons because he will do it in much better conditions than the regime because he will immediately have all the help the world can give him. As long as this does not happen, he will have to demand it from the usurper, even though he knows that he will not solve anything at all.

We must repeat ourselves like a mantra: The solution to COVID-19 is for Maduro and his regime to go away. Already at ANCO we suggest one way but if he and his interim government disagree their duty is to get another and apply it immediately. We are still waiting. If Guaidó fails to make the right decisions in the face of the gravity of the crisis, the same situation that will arise in the country as a consequence of not making those decisions, it will find in its path the necessary leadership to deal with whatever happens.

It is surprising how the crisis has led us not to realize this gigantic confusion of roles, creating in the population a state of defenselessness and general confusion where people wake up supporting the actions of those who do not know what to do or how to do it. It is frustrating to see Guaidó trying to do Maduro's work in vain, because it is Maduro who exercises power, and Maduro trying to do a job he cannot do because he destroyed the country. That madness makes people uncertain and feel lost in the middle of a frightening darkness, which is precisely why responsible and committed leadership is required! That's why leadership like Winston Churchill's was able to pull the British out of the terror of a German invasion, building confidence and faith in the future, drawing from them enough strength to oppose it.

Every day that passes the pandemic expands around the world, and we do not know how far it has gone in Venezuela to this date because they have destroyed the entire health system. No help will come to our country if WE do not first solve the problem of Maduro and his regime. I am about to think that God sent us this additional plague of COVID-19 to force us to make the decisions that we have to make. Time is running out and Maduro and his thieves prefer to hold on to power, allowing the people to die of a Chinese virus. I hope his companions are not willing to "kill themselves" with him, making that Chinese virus the ultimate trigger...

Caracas, March 21, 2020


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