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The problem is not Guaidó

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Will Juan Guaidó, a faithful exponent of that youth who died on the streets for a better Venezuela, be able to betray that in favor of the worst of Venezuelan politics of the last 60 years, and who is still alive and kicking in that National Assembly? If he is capable of that betrayal, my dear friend would have been right and I would have been wrong again - it is not the first time - but I would have done so believing in the Venezuelan youth who have shed so much blood for Venezuela....(see Guaidó versus official opposition

So I ended a March note this year trying to convince myself that I did not believe in the collapse of the Guaidó interim presidency, because if anything good had happened in Venezuela it was that this generation representing the struggle of Venezuelan youth to end tyranny had been given all the power and opportunity. Well, I must admit that I was wrong. But maybe I would make the mistake again for the same reasons. The Ramos Allup, the Rosales, the Zambrano, the Borges were stronger, they imposed on that new generation a way of doing politics that we Venezuelans have repudiated since long before Chávez arrived and the reason why that coup plotter came to power. The politics of the lie, of the trap, of the negotiated, of the money of corruption. And the results are visible.

We have lost an entire year and despair has begun to take hold. However, just as I believe that the person holding the Presidency-in-Charge, Juan Guaidó, was exhausted throughout 2019 for an endless number of reasons, what has actually become a crisis is the very figure we chose on 23 January to confront the tyranny of criminals who illegitimately hold power. And if we want to change who we believe is responsible for not having taken the corresponding decisions, we will be wrong again. In other words, changing Guaidó without changing the mechanism for fighting the regime will be completely ineffective and a monumental mistake. Why do I affirm this? Let's see.

What mechanism did the official opposition choose to leave the regime? A President in Charge who, through a collegiate parliamentary government that does not exist in the Constitution, without taking into account anyone in the country, took the decisions and actions to depose the regime. Without justifying the mistakes made in these 11 months, if the most experienced politician had been at the front, he would have failed as Juan Guaidó failed. Everyone, including me, asked for pears from a mango tree. We asked Guaidó to appoint a Cabinet when that Statute and that unconstitutional parliamentary government prevented him from doing so. While it is true that he was able to rise to the presidency, he would not have gotten very far. The same political leaders would have taken the floor where he could stand. It was not a question of his having the courage to do so, as has been mentioned. But he could have denounced it and provoked a political crisis to change that. That's what you really have to reproach him for as a young man, but that's another story now. It's too late for that.

The political leaders of the parties designed a very clumsy parapet, which was impossible to function for the purposes for which it was built. It worked if - and reluctantly, for those who did not want Guaidó to be sworn in - for the International Community to close ranks around the Venezuelan people, recognizing in that figure of the President in Charge, the legitimate representative of the Venezuelans before those peoples. That advance cannot be lost because that was the only thing we won in 2019!

The recognition was gained that there is a tyranny in Venezuela that must be eliminated. That there is a cancer in Venezuela that must be removed but it is not clear until now how to proceed with that. That recognition is still an asset in favor of Venezuelans, whether or not Juan Guaidó is in the Presidency-in-Charge. So the problem is not Guiadó. I question the figure that was used because if something has harmed us, it is that false belief that Guaidó, or whoever is taking his place, is the President of something. What we should have is a coordinator, a kind of head of a crisis team that allows itself to be accompanied by the most qualified of the country in each necessary area (military, diplomatic, social, political to mention some important ones) with the UNIQUE AND EXCLUSIVE objective of expelling from power the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros and his national and international delinquents. And once that objective is achieved, it will give way to a Provisional Government -where there would be a President in Charge- that will lead us to free and authentic elections. That crisis team WOULD NOT BE FOR GOVERNANCE because it would not have the power for that, but to seek a solution for the complete expulsion of the regime of power with the help of the International Community. Do you see the difference?

When an earthquake occurs, a natural tragedy of proportions, an executive coordination of the crisis is created to immediately face the problem. Specialized teams are created to bring law and order, provide food and immediate medical attention to those affected and a temporary roof for those left homeless. All this is assembled in hours to face what happened until the situation normalizes. Well, we Venezuelans must do something like that. We must create something similar and that executive team, made up of that "person in charge", who at heart is not President because he has no power, must coordinate it until the situation in Venezuela normalizes.

And that team is the one that must lead the actions, with the help of the International Community that recognized our struggle, to expel Maduro by the means that are necessary and take the country to a Provisional Government. Who would be part of that team? Representatives of the only legitimate Power recognized, the National Assembly, and representatives of Civil Society of unquestionable ethics and morals. This is not the first time that decisions based on this criterion have been made in Venezuela. In 1993 the Congress of the Republic appointed Senator Ramón J. Velásquez as President in Charge of the Republic to conclude the term of then President Carlos Andrés Pérez, without Dr. Velásquez being in the line of succession according to the 1961 Constitution. This was reached by a political agreement that took into consideration Senator Velásquez's impeccable record of service and his unquestionable ethics and morals at the service of the Nation, recognized by all Venezuelans.

This was done precisely because the country was moved by the corruption trial against the President of the Republic, and the best way to normalize the country was agreed. Something like this must now be reached where Article 233 cannot represent a sort of straitjacket that implies that the next "President in Charge" will be the Deputy chosen in the National Assembly as President of the Assembly. In Venezuela there is no figure of "rotating" presidencies, as the Magistrate Emerita, Dr. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León, has explained. That brings a drunken fight for an empty bottle, and it is already beginning to happen with the regime buying the votes of Deputies for the next legislature that begins on January 5, 2020. The National Assembly should immediately abandon this unconstitutional Statute for Transition and focus on seeking and politically agreeing on the best Venezuelan, here or abroad, to lead this crisis team and give it the legitimacy to conduct what is necessary to get out of the problem. The international community would immediately support him.

The earthquake that the Government in Charge of Juan Guaidó is going through must give way to that crisis team, if it can be given a name, to act on behalf of all Venezuelans to propose a solution for the expulsion of the regime. I already propose to that crisis team that within the solutions to be studied, they present the Popular Plebiscite Consultation, which we have already amply explained, and provide information to the Government in charge of Juan Guaidó, without detriment to other solutions based on the application of mechanisms for the use of international force.

What we, those of us who continue to worry about the future of the events due to the weakening by corruption of the Government in Charge of Juan Guaidó, wish in the end is that the same errors of 2019 that have given tyranny more time to consolidate itself in power, using the means that corruption gives it, will not be repeated. To change Guaidó for another to do exactly the same, is the chronicle of an announced failure. Corruption will always be the order of the day to undermine the management of whoever comes. What you can't do is keep doing the same thing and expect different results. That is the "Einsteinian" definition of insanity. If Guaidó is not the one who should lead the ship, as in fact we already believe many in Venezuela, then we must proceed with a completely different mechanism to continue the fight...

Caracas, December 5, 2019


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