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23E: Terms confronted

By Luis Manuel Aguana

The overwhelming and unequivocal demonstration of the Venezuelan people's rejection of Maduro's misgovernment gave us a new President this 23E, Juan Guaidó. A people turned to the streets all over the country waiting for what their leadership had promised them, defined the result of the deed of the 23E. The determination of a young man whom history put there made a difference. It was impossible for them to turn back. Too many disappointments would have definitively buried them, and with them the hope of coming out of the tyrant and his companions that from today are like a fierce wound of death, more dangerous than ever.

Pero el enemigo mas peligroso es el que duerme contigo porque ese te apuñala mientras duermes. Y aunque la conseja popular indica tener a los amigos cerca pero a los enemigos todavía mas cerca, en estas ocasiones la razón aconseja decisiones que cambian el curso de la historia de los pueblos dejando de lado a quien se deba dejar. Y ese es el tipo de decisión que le correspondió tomar a Juan Guaidó cuando ignorando el pacto con AD y UNT de no juramentarse el 23E, decidio aceptar jurar el cargo de Presidente Encargado de la República porque esa fue la decisión de los venezolanos al salir a las calles. De allí que ni Edgar Zambrano ni Stalin González convinieran en juramentarlo como correspondía protocolarmente en ese acto. Pero ni eso fue necesario. El pueblo venezolano lo aclamó como Presidente, honor mas que suficiente para cualquier venezolano que acceda a la Primera Magistratura.

Ante el acuerdo de usurpación del 15 de enero se puso de manifiesto que no era posible la existencia simultánea de la Asamblea Nacional y el régimen de Nicolás Maduro. Si usted desconoce formalmente al ocupante de Miraflores, y no nombra a su sucesor de inmediato, no puede esperar menos que lo cierren, por lo que es esencialmente estúpido hacer una cosa sin hacer la otra o, peor aún, hacerla "por etapas" o a cuentagotas, sin esperar una reacción inmediata de la dictadura. Lo que correspondía -y la razón nos la dieron los hechos- es que se juramentara un encargado de la Presidencia de la República que condujera el carro opositor hasta la expulsión definitiva del régimen.

To continue insisting on not swearing Juan Guaidó in as Constitutional President in Charge in the face of this new situation was practically to tell Venezuelans that we stuck to Maduro forever, which is what the development of that January 15 Agreement would be like, so the best thing those parties could do was to withdraw from politics because they would never again have the support of the population. However, until Guaidó's swearing-in, that was the long-term plan to which we had been sentenced by those who made that pact that culminated in the signing of the Agreement for the transfer of the Executive's competencies to the National Assembly. But the Venezuelan people sabotaged the move by putting Juan Guaidó's hopes of ending the regime today, and he did not disappoint us.

What we expected if Guaidó had not been sworn in on the 23E was to end an election within a transition process that would last months or years, negotiated like Henry Ramos Allup, with the permanence of the structures of the regime, without changing the electoral system, which would not change Maduro or the system that maintains him, but would screw it with the help of the official opposition that invented that Agreement.

This turn of events ruined their long-term plan. Put in the terms of what happened, I do not believe that it is now in the interest of Venezuelans that the parliamentary agreement of 15 January, which takes away the President's powers, should be continued. The powers of President (E) Juan Guaidó must be those granted to him by the Constitution. However, in Venezuela there cannot be another electoral process with the current conditions in 30 days. It would be fatal to make the country believe that by holding elections with 4 million people outside and a corrupt electoral system, we will solve this problem in one month, after being called by Juan Guaidó.

After Maduro's expulsion from power, the first thing there should be is a thorough cleaning of all the institutions, starting with the National Electoral Council, CNE, with the creation of a new Electoral System and Register as decided by the Electoral Chamber of the legitimate TSJ on June 13, 2018, before thinking about new elections.

Yesterday's endorsement of the United States expressed by Vice President Mike Pence (see news in, could have been the trigger for today's actions but none of that would have had any effect had it not been for the resolute support of the Venezuelan people on the streets of 23E throughout the country. The first step had to be taken before the support materialized. I must admit that assuming the 10E would not have had the same significance and impact as the 23E with the people on the street, but acknowledgements of the importance of Donald Trump's government would not have been possible if Juan Guaidó had not taken a decisive step forward, even without a pronouncement by the Armed Forces that was our position.

We now have two terms confronted. Those of us who thought that this had to be detonated today with all the consequences that the radicalization of the regime would bring by confronting it directly, with the help of the International Community, trying to prevent Venezuela from deteriorating at an ever-increasing rate with the loss of lives and public and private property; and those who believe, as in the case of Ramos Allup and Manuel Rosales, that with delinquents one can negotiate giving them half a country in payment so that they do not destroy it.

But the worst isn't that. Although we are very happy that Juan Guaidó made the right decision when he assumed the Presidency of the Republic to immediately remove Maduro and his corrupt regime, there are still those in operation and coexisting with the opposition who tried to get us into the long-term transition when it is no longer possible. In the next few hours those hidden enemies will try to convince Juan Guaidó and his new government to negotiate with those criminals something that is not negotiable: Venezuela. Let's not allow that to happen.

Caracas, January 23, 2019


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