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Guaidó and Trump's speech

By Luis Manuel Aguana

"The United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people. But Maduro’s grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken. Here this evening is a man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans. Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland. All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom! Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul" (words of Donald Trump in his Message to the Nation -State of the Union- of February 4, 2020, transcript of Time, in

What a commitment! That part of Trump's speech stirred the fibers of all Venezuelans and was like a cold, refreshing lemonade in the middle of a hot summer that has not just ended, renewing hopes of ending this tragedy soon. But it also does something that was not expected by the official opposition: It commits Juan Guaidó to an immediate solution to the problem of Venezuelans. No more waiting, no more politicking of long term elections. In the house of the most perfect democracy in the world he was told that freedom comes first. Did they get the message?

Trump told him that he represents "the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all Venezuelans" and that his people accompany us “united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom”. They do not accompany the G4-Guaidó, nor the official opposition parties, but the Venezuelan people. That has always been the position of the Trump government. But let's take a closer look at Guaidó's presence in Washington at the U.S. Congress, especially at the meeting to present the U.S. president's accounts to the representatives of his people.

The first thing that strikes me is not the words or the ovation to Juan Guaidó (which is not to Guaidó, but to the struggle with blood in the streets of this long-suffering people, a recognition of the Venezuelan people for which I am personally grateful to the U.S. Congress) but the very presence of the President in charge there, after having announced in Canada that a meeting with Trump was not scheduled (see in Spanish 2001, in

What I think is happening is that Guaidó and his advisors on the tour were never scheduled to meet with Trump in Washington. That was confessed by Guaidó when he made that statement in Canada. But when he saw the matrix of opinion that was formed in Venezuela that it was, to say the least, a sovereign idiocy not to get in touch with the U.S. authorities being our greatest ally in this struggle, and in his own backyard, after having made the effort to leave Venezuela -an opinion that this writer fully subscribes to-, he changed the tour to the United States for a meeting with the largest Venezuelan colony in the United States, in South Florida.

This denotes the "as it comes, we'll see", the well-known doctrine of Eudomar Santos, which seems to be the norm in the interim government. From those contacts with the American authorities, already in the territory of the United States, the kind of meeting with President Trump was not so far away, even if he had rejected the offer of former Ambassador Diego Arria to set up an Arria Formula in New York to bring the issue of Venezuela back to the United Nations Security Council. I think that Guaidó's team should not reject that offer.

The increase in strong expressions against Maduro by the main spokespersons of the US Administration, starting with President Trump ("smashed and broken"), would denote the imminence of an immediate outcome. But since this has been the case in the past, it would not be of any great significance now if it were not for the presence of Juan Guaidó in Washington. The issue of Venezuela has once again taken on significance in U.S. public opinion. The Trump administration must be telling Guaidó in person about its plans for the regime.

That is a compelling reason for Guaidó not to return to Venezuela empty-handed, nor for the White House to allow it to return without a solution, because if that were the case, had he been taken to the heights of Olympus in the U.S. Congress, Guaidó would descend into the infernal depths of Venezuelans' disdain for not having brought a solution to our serious problem from abroad. Will the Americans allow that to happen? If there is an imminent solution that we do not know about, why let Guaidó lose the trust of the Venezuelans?

What if it is true is why would Guaidó return without an answer? Would it return to continue holding meetings of the legitimate National Assembly - and not recognized by the regime - in the streets? Would it continue to sit in Baruta? What is the point of that? What we would see is the continuation of negotiations for parliamentary elections at the end of the year as we have been announced. That is the recipe for a sure condemnation of the hope of all Venezuelans. A few weeks later, this return to "business as usual" would be cosmic dust. Consequently, Guaidó has to have a credible response for Venezuelans that is not elections. We have already proposed one: the Referendum for a Referendum to restore the validity of the Constitution and let the people decide. It would be good for you to support this solution and join what many sectors of Venezuelan civil society are already asking for. You heard Trump say in the U.S. Congress that they support our struggle for freedom. Then they will surely support our decision as a people to end the tyranny in a Popular Consultation.

Caracas, February 5, 2020


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