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Opportunity window

By Luis Manuel Aguana

I hope that this is the first of many notes in which I talk about the future, about Venezuela without all this garbage that has accompanied us politically - on both sides - and that has intoxicated us to the point of not allowing us to think clearly. I think it is time to get out of the picture we see at first sight every day and think beyond it. We Venezuelans must - even if it is difficult for us - start thinking about the post-Maduro and its thousand thieves scenarios. I give as a fact that Maduro is out of power in such a close future that we will not even have time to celebrate the gigantic problem that will remain in our hands.

Sources indicate that there are already military personnel asking "What are the conditions for the delivery? Can it be picked up in Venezuelan territory? Where on the border is more convenient? Could we offer logistics for the extraction operation? How is the claim made for the payment of the reward" as journalist Casto Ocando notes in a recent article (see in Spanish Primer Informe, Militares venezolanos negocian la captura de Nicolás Maduro, en realizes that that shouldn't be the problem we're thinking about anymore. At this point, I really don't care what color coat they put Maduro, Padrino, Diosdado, Maikel or Tarek El Aissami in, or whether they are delivered dead or alive, although the "Wanted" signs from the U.S. Department of Justice did not indicate that condition for paying the reward. However, it seems that those military officials in the Ocando note are not asking that either. Let's rather think from now on in whose hands the power in Venezuela will remain.

At this very moment there are already political factors of the regime itself and its official opposition, mixed with what has been called "light chavism", plotting how they will look after Maduro and the rest of their principals have been "extracted" and have become a problem to continue with business in the shadow of power. The negotiations can no longer be done "as usual" because everything is paralyzed waiting for these characters to come out "packed". And that is where we must focus our attention from now on.

At the time of Maduro rejecting outright the offer of the United States called Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela and make that 5-member Council of State suggested in point No. 5 (see official proposal at, this is an overly generous offer, as Mauricio Claver-Carone, US National Security Advisor, pointed out, and once the wanted characters have disappeared from the political map, who do you think the Americans will recognize as the new President of Venezuela? Yes, you read my mind: Juan Guaidó and his G4 associates.

The Americans will not look the other way as this recognition has been held up reluctantly for more than a year. That's why Guaidó should be thinking right now about how it will accompany itself in this new circumstance so that its permanence in power is sustainable, and especially with which civilians and military.
However, this transition is designed to be short-lived since the Transition Statute was approved in February 2019. None of the G4 parties likes the idea of a long transition (read many months) and neither does the International Community. They want it to be short. However, the instability that will accompany the departure of Maduro and his criminals with armed factors throughout the country will delay the plan to hold elections immediately.

And it is here where Venezuelans have a lot to say. How long should that transition last and what should be done during it to guarantee political stability and the re-institutionalization of Venezuela? Perhaps it is unrealistic to think of a transition long enough to solve the whole problem of mass destruction caused by Castro-Chavismo-Madurismo, but there is something key here that we Venezuelans are letting go in that transition: it is fundamental for the political sectors. prevail that this transition is very short for its survival, and elections are held - with the same structures of the electoral power of Castro-Chavismo-Madurismo to control elections - that put in power those who will lead the ship in the next 6 years, and with the same licenses without citizen control that Chávez and Maduro had. But ... is that what we want? Definitely not. Be careful with that!

Many of them want to return to the arrangements so well known by Venezuelans in the 90s, such as the distribution of the country and big business, without that dripping to the people. That justified the insurgency of a military man like Chavez, and the people followed him fed up with the political situation, without even imagining that it would be extraordinarily worse. For that, they need political stability and a new post-Chavismo-Madurismo "status quo" as soon as possible.

It is necessary then to do the engineering that urgently establishes the bases that will make that not happen and at the same time that what results will not allow the return of what is dying right now. We require immediate controls on the President of the Republic, to diminish as soon as possible his powers over the lives of Venezuelans. Give immediate representation to the federal states in parliament. This figure is called the Senate, giving it the control over the Armed Forces and the final approval of the laws, without mention a new way of conceiving the distribution of the oil income to the Venezuelans and a new conception of our main industry in the context of a new energy reality in the world.

All regions, municipalities and federated states must have in this new stage the power administered by the citizens, not a centralist and all-powerful state. What has been described is only a glimpse of what we must do, and it is not a Government Program, but rather a reworking of the framework of action of the factors in a new Venezuela. Government programs will be written once this structuring has been done. It is to conceive and build the new building where the politics of the new generations will live and which will be managed by those who will succeed us. This is what we call in ANCO the Big Change.

If we cannot make these changes in the transition that will inevitably come, we have to get a commitment from Civil Society not to allow political factors to delay it until they feel like it. The window of opportunity that is open to us to make this transition will be very short before the same protagonists who were responsible for the arrival of Chavez, and other younger ones who were unfortunately recruited later, return and become mineralised in power. If these changes do not take place in this opportunity window, it is unlikely that Venezuela will be stable for future generations and that socialist obscurantism will return.

I end this note with the closing of ANCO's press release of March 28, 2020, The Big Change ( that encloses the substance of this approach:

"We have to rethink Venezuela. We have to REINVENT DEMOCRACY. We have to REFOUND the COUNTRY.  It is necessary to establish a new political, administrative and constitutional model of governance that recovers confidence in the country. We have made changes in these recent governments so that everything remains the same or worse. The magnitudes of the crises are so great and their energy is so strong that they end up breaking all the old paradigms to give way to a new one. But also the power structures of those who should continue create other offers and illusions to sustain their original paradigm that commits us to fight with determination to prevent it".

It's now or never...

Caracas, April 14, 2020


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