Suscribete a TICs & Derechos Humanos

An honorable death

By Luis Manuel Aguana

In my opinion, we have not given enough of the message that the best way to fight COVID-19 in Venezuela is to get out of Maduro. But if we now add that international factors such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, calling for the lifting of sanctions against the Maduro regime (see in Spanish Bachelet pide que se atenúen las sanciones económicas a Cuba y Venezuela para poder enfrentar el coronavirus, en, are applying an unacceptable blackmail to us Venezuelans: that sanctions must be set aside in order to address this crisis. AND THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.

Why would that virus be any different from the mortality that was already occurring and continues to occur every day in Venezuela as a result of a tyranny that has not accepted international humanitarian aid? What makes the death of a child from sepsis different because he cannot be operated on in a public hospital from simple appendicitis because there is no anesthesia or anesthesiologist and his death from that new virus? Absolutely nothing! In fact I can say that as Venezuela was before this pandemic appeared, COVID-19 is the least of our worries. That's how serious Maduro's pandemic and his criminals must be understood. The socialist Michelle Bachelet should have understood that by now.

Then it will be up to Maduro's military and those who hold him in power to deal with the number of deaths that will have to start coming out at any moment, and where his relatives will be as well. And they will have to decide among themselves whether they have a chance to fight the pandemic better for international aid, or die supporting the regime. That virus won't make any difference to the rest of us who live here. If a Venezuelan gets sick from ANYTHING he is certain to die with and without COVID-19 in any hospital, because no one in Venezuela has health insurance to go to a private clinic. Private health insurance has disappeared from the budgets of most Venezuelans. We simply can't afford it.

So, the coronavirus comes? What difference does it make? But now Bachelet is asking the world to suspend the sanctions so that Maduro can continue doing what he does best: subjugating the population to enrich himself with what's left of Venezuela. I can't speak for the rest of the Venezuelan people, but I'd prefer then that they continue to be hanged, because any aid administered by those criminals will not be reflected in changes to the health systems.

But the most regrettable thing is not that Bachelet, an out-and-out communist who has infiltrated the world's human rights at the UN, is asking for the regime, but rather that an "opponent" like Henrique Capriles is doing so, who is now proposing "some kind of agreement" "to overcome the pandemic with the forces that both parties have to offer (see in Spanish Capriles también llama a un acuerdo nacional ante el COVID-19, en So does Henry Falcon, another pseudo-opposition: "It is time for the unity of the nation, because it is right. We must put aside hatred, division and group interests to take on the national ones". I really don't know what is worse, if a communist outside trying to ease the sanctions imposed on these criminals, or some collaborationists inside trying to work with the regime to achieve this.

I suppose that Capriles must have understood by now that the cost of not having taken a risk on April 15, 2013, when he alleged "the possible deaths" that would cause the CNE to march to collect an electoral victory, sending everyone to "dance salsa and play casseroles," turned out to be today, after all the deaths caused and provoked by Maduro, infinitely less than not having done so. That was the moment that the Bolivian leaders did not lose with the electoral fraud of Evo Morales. These are the toxic leaders from whom we Venezuelans must move away, beyond the plague of the coronavirus.

Some of you at this point will be saying "this is what you want then the virus to kill us", giving Bachelet and Capriles the reason out of desperation. To them I will say: be very careful not to confuse gymnastics with magnesia. Desperation is the worst counselor. Dismantling sanctions that were never intended to prevent the entry of food and medicine into the country will not solve the country's health crisis. Aid to help public hospitals is still in place and Maduro has prevented it and is still preventing it in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This aid is not being paid by the regime but by the international community, and it is fully available. Why hasn't it come in yet? Ask the Maduro regime: Who is violating the human rights of Venezuelans? Who is Bachelet speaking for, the regime or the Venezuelans?

Capriles presents a situation of political polarization that exists only in his mind. here is no controlling political leadership in the country to hold hands with to work together. Capriles has not yet understood (or wanted to understand?) that on the other side there is a mafia of dangerous criminals, involved in crimes against humanity, capable of anything to stay in power, including murder. It is not that we can make a "truce" between equal forces. NO. Here is a narco-criminal mafia that is subjugating the human rights of a defenseless, hungry and sick population. That is the situation. And if you have not yet understood this as a political leader, then let the Venezuelan political scene come out at once, because those who do not help are in the way. He's done enough damage for a generation in 2013.

We Venezuelans cannot fall into that false dilemma of "it's either the regime or the pandemic". The regime is one thing and the pandemic is another. We are not in the best position to fight it because the regime has destroyed the health of the Venezuelan people. But it is not by strengthening it, "uniting" with it or asking them to take away the only thing that has diminished them in all these years that we will manage to defeat it. The sanctions are a kind of chemotherapy for a body with cancer. It is not by removing the treatment that we will manage to eliminate the cancer cells. The regimen has to go so that we can have a better chance of beating the virus.

But if the body still can't take it, I'd rather have an honorable death fighting to the end against cancer than let it fear death and accept to live with it. I will say then as The Liberator in his letter to General Urdaneta before dying in Santa Marta: "I prefer death to medicine". And yet never before has a death been so honorable as his...

Caracas, March 25, 2020


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