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Parliamentary elections, the next episode

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Every news report that comes in is more disturbing than the other. First the possibility of a new crisis of a global dimension with Iranian ships full of gasoline heading for Venezuela, without knowing whether they will be stopped or not by the American warships. If they are detained it is bad because of what it means in the scaling up of this conflict; and if they are not detained it is worse because it would prolong the torture of the Venezuelans, since that gasoline would not be for the people but for the continuity of the regime. Then, the departure of the country without warning and without protest from the private TV giant, DirecTV, which leaves an entire population without entertainment, without food, without gas, without light, without water, and terrified by the ever-increasing possibility of contagion from a pandemic that we in no way believe the regime is in a position to control, much less combat.

All this and many other things are being presented to generate anxiety and frustration in Venezuelans. And even more so when we do not see any response from those who promised in January 2016 to resolve the crisis in six months. We are close to five long years of a National Assembly that is dying by the wayside every day, without giving us the answers that were promised to the country in 2015. Every day we see closer the "solution" that Henry Ramos Allup and his G4 give us of running again in a parliamentary election with Nicolas Maduro in power, and getting 5 more years of the same or worse, with the same criminal broken bats that have enriched themselves in the opposition. That is what we Venezuelan opponents achieved by electing by a majority the same old deputies - plus other unknown ones - from those four parties, PJ, AD, VP and UNT, as the drivers of this tragedy that the official Venezuelan opposition is named after.

Now, if we put this in context with what is happening in the United States, the result would be to cry on a sidewalk. A Donald Trump fighting for re-election that looks increasingly compromised as the COVID-19 gains ground in the middle of an economy that is contracting under the effects of a lengthening quarantine. Major U.S. media outlets are saying things like this: “A public health emergency with no end in sight and free-falling economy aren't ideal conditions for a leader to win re-election..” (see Signal, The Gzero Newletter, Trump’s 2020 play:  blame China and the governors, in https://www.gzeromedia.com/trumps-2020-play-blame-china-and-the-governors).

Indeed, President Trump, the only president who has taken concrete steps to solve Venezuela's problem, is finding himself having to put his domestic problems first rather than embark on a rescue operation for Venezuela that would put his already committed re-election at real risk. Right now, Venezuela represents Trump's last priority. Those priorities may change but definitely after the U.S. elections in November.

Juan Guaidó as President-in-Charge has lost many windows of opportunity for more than a year, by refusing to assume the leadership of the State and take over the legitimate power granted to him by the Constitution on January 23, 2019. At this time, Guaidó represents a handicap to the official opposition's plans to continue negotiating with the regime for elections in December, in light of all that a failed military operation with mercenaries meant, which was persecuted by the regime and condemned by the international community.

At this moment I would not be surprised if the G4 leadership without VP is negotiating Juan Guaidó's head with the regime. They'd both be better off taking Guaidó out of the equation. And maybe that's why the PJ deputies' travel to the United States are supporting a new opposition representation and the surprising reappearance of Capriles with aspirations of a new leadership, although this has been furiously denied by the yellow awning (see in Spanish, Bloomberg: Diputados piden bajo anonimato a EEUU reemplazar a Guaidó, en http://www.laverdad.com/politica/167171-bloomberg-diputados-anonimato-eeuu-reemplazar-guaido.html and PJ negó que haya pedido a EEUU el reemplazo de Guaido como Presidente Encargado, en https://runrun.es/noticias/408068/pj-nego-que-haya-pedido-a-eeuu-el-reemplazo-de-guaido-como-presidente-encargado/).

Unless something transcendental and unexpected happens in the country's political situation, we are going live, like Titanic to the iceberg, towards an electoral process in December, as announced by official spokespersons, with Maduro in power. The new CNE has yet to reach an agreement. However, the only thing that is saving us is the persistent refusal of the international community, with the United States at the head, to recognize any election with the regime in Miraflores.

But time passes and nothing happens in the country, aggravating the tragic picture of Venezuelans, and deteriorating Trump's situation. And that is what both the regime and its conspiring opposition are playing at, forcing us to say "well, what else are we going to do? We will have to go again to vote for the opposition in December, to see if things improve this time. And that is what these people are playing at. The only thing missing from that is the blessing of the White House. And as I see it, the famous U.S. State Department's Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela, dated March 31, 2020 (ver Global Public Affairs, US Departament of State, Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela, in https://www.state.gov/democratic-transition-framework-for-venezuela/) gives them the conditions for that. The White House wants both actors to "agree" on a transition. And indeed they are already "agreeing" to go together to a parliamentary election, and they can well argue that this is the prelude to a "transition agreement" such as the one the White House wants. And Trump is not in the best position to say no to that. On the contrary, he will think that it would give him time to get out of the fire he has in his country with the economy and the COVID-19.

If the Trump Administration agrees to these parliamentary elections, of course taking care of the appearances of a minimum of international observation and guarantees for the opposition with a new CNE (which we all know how it will be because it has already been overtaken by Stalin Gonzalez with the regime's deputies who left their posts in the National Assembly to go to the Constituent Assembly), the big question is: What will those of us who have vomited to death with every marraige of the official opposition do to live with the regime? Will we make a fuss saying that this is unacceptable? Refuse to participate? If they accept it on the outside, whatever comes out of those elections will be legitimate in the eyes of the world.

If the International Community, with the United States at the head, gives its blessing to this parliamentary election as a consequence of its political situation, the decent people left in this country cannot stand by and wait to see a repetition of these 5 years of opposition parliamentary ignominy. Will we allow the votes to go back to the Henry Ramos Allup, the Juan Guaidó, the Stalin González, the Julio Borges, the Sergio Vergara, the Adolfo Superlano, the Luis Parra, the José Brito and stop counting by the endless list, who have misused the parliamentary representation we Venezuelans have given them to benefit in any conceivable way? It seems to me that, as Venezuelans, we would be making a very serious mistake.

I almost vomit again if those same people return to the National Assembly with the legitimate representation of Venezuelans because "there was no one else to vote for”. And that's what the official opposition parties are betting on. And I believe that it is by disputing this legitimate representation of the citizens that those who make the transcendental decisions of the official opposition in Venezuela could be displaced from these positions, if the International Community puts us on the precipice of returning to the ballot box with the regime of Nicolás Maduro, in the name of an unquestionable political "coexistence" and international balance. And that is what we have around the corner "if nothing happens", as it seems to be with the conchupant opposition.

And if this is to be extended because of the regime's criminal endless quarantine with COVID-19, because of the inaction of a wimp that unfortunately fell on us constitutionally, because of the serious political situation of our main international ally, then let's handle things differently, by putting up a new fight in the same field of the official opposition and the regime: with the votes. Let's build a coalition of Venezuelans with a proven track record as citizens who represent the people's feelings and who dispute the parliamentary representation of the regime and of a devalued and infamous official opposition. Many will say that I am getting ahead of myself before the events unfold, but I am really tired of seeing the hole in the distance again and again, and falling into it again and again. Think of that likely scenario as the next episode of this endless horror novel. All of you who will have to step forward to challenge the electoral proposal of that official opposition sold out for the new legislature of 2021 are warned at the bat, because it seems that it will be you, with the legitimate popular representation in your hands, who will be called upon to take this nightmare away from us…

Caracas, May 22, 2020

Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com
Twitter:@laguana

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