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The only way of Juan Guaidó

By Luis Manuel Aguana

It is attributed to former Venezuelan President Raimundo Andueza Palacios (1846-1900) the unfortunate phrase that history has proven true: "The National Treasure is like the Guaire River, everyone has the right to put their pichagua, what is discussed is the size”. In my opinion, some web writers have misinterpreted this phrase. I think Andueza didn't mean to put any part of the body in the water, but a container to take it (remember that at that time the Guaire River was clean). The word "pichagua", very Venezuelan, is a derivative of the famous indigenous "totuma" or "tapara" used to collect water or plate to eat.

All Venezuelans had the right, according to Andueza, to reach into public money. What was discussed was the size of the container, because the river provided enough water for everyone. The question was who had more right than another to drink more. The answer: the one with the biggest pigeon. And that is usually the one who has the power. That's how it's interpreted in Venezuela. Unfortunately, that phrase remained structured in the political DNA of those who have governed Venezuela since that moment.

We Venezuelans have witnessed the most unusual. Andueza could never have imagined that the size of the pichagua of those who succeeded him would dry up the entire river of that National Treasure that he assertively compared to the Guaire River. Nor did anyone imagine that the discussion of the size of the pichagua would affect him beyond the gossip of thieves lumbering among themselves who were fighting for power. The river was too big until they dried it up and nobody could drink any more.

Nations that consider themselves developed today have a cultural code that structurally limits corruption. That has been an evil of humanity, and we Venezuelans are not the only ones to suffer from it. Corruption, apart from the ethical and moral aspects involved, makes the distribution of what belongs to everyone less efficient. And I believe that what has happened in Venezuela is the best global example of how catastrophic the consequences can be when there is a total absence of controls for this evil. Consequences that are not only economic, but also political, and as we have been able to realize with the tragedy that consumes us, profoundly social.

From this it can clearly be deduced that whatever comes in the future, after coming out of this gang of thieves who lead the power in Venezuela, they have to be much better in that department. And not only do they have to be, but they also have to look like Caesar's wife. That's why you note the recently published ones that point to the corruption that is being uncovered on the side of the official opposition (see in Spanish ¿Dónde están los reales, Guaidó? in indicate that things would not change substantially in the future. But it also tells us a lot about why things have not yet changed in favor of Venezuelans after January 23, 2019, and on the contrary, have worsened much more.

Journalist Molina's denunciation was an open secret. And the problem is not that there may be corruption in the opposition ranks. That's the least of it! What is serious is that the Government of the President in Charge is not acting with the transparency it should by handling, at its discretion and with absolutely no control of the comptroller's office, the funds it has received from abroad and those that have been recovering from the regime. Who is carrying out administrative control and giving an account of those funds to the Venezuelans? That is what the President in Charge and the collegiate government of the National Assembly must answer. It cannot be that there is one morality for the regime and another very different one for the opposition. In that we agree with the article by journalist Molina.

But what cannot be swallowed is the attempt to suggest that it is the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly of the regime's thieves that puts control over it. That is, Molina's proposal is that a gang of crooks put control of another but of the opposition. End of the world! Corruption has gotten everything out of control. There are no credible institutions because there are no credible people anymore. The credible leaders have been dying and the new ones are entangled in scandals like the one denounced by the journalist Molina.

A country without institutions as Venezuela has historically been, has only been sustained with the moral credibility of the few Venezuelans who in good time lent their services for a Venezuela of the future. People like Arnoldo Gabaldón Carrillo and Luis Razetti in medicine, Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo in oil, Vicente Emilio Sojo and Teresa Carreño in music, José González Lander in engineering, are just a few examples of the fact that regardless of the institutional situation of the country, there were Venezuelans who dedicated their lives to serving others, without expecting anything in return, beyond the work accomplished. Are these types of Venezuelans finished? I don't believe it. I dare say there may even be better ones right now. But there must be the right environment for that to flourish and multiply. And those who are responsible for building that ecosystem, it seems, are still bidding to get out.

It will be impossible to rebuild Venezuela if the leadership that seeks to replace the one that exists is exactly the same or worse than the one that exists. It is a very simple mathematics and a basic rule of executive management: you will not compose what was broken by using those who broke it. And if those you call to do so are business partners of those who were, the result will be the same or worse. And that is what we are currently contemplating with the administration of the President in Charge.

Hence the call of many voices of conscience that have asked the President in charge to separate himself from all partisan militancy, as well as from the group of parties of the National Assembly, and to form a Government of National Unity with all the representative factors of society, including those that from the opposition have opposed him, especially with those people that Venezuelans now consider to be of unquestionable and irrefutable ethical and moral condition. That is fundamental! They exist in all fields, economic, political, and social.

That transcendental decision would strengthen his presidency, give direction and firmness to this loquacious woman who has gone 11 months without results, without counting on the positive message of a change of direction to the International Community, giving a sign to Venezuelans of wanting to solve our problem, and closing the way to those who want to use his presidency for corruption. A unified luxury Cabinet would find in hours (if not minutes) a solution and a forceful action to the problem of Maduro's usurpation. Difficult? We Venezuelans are having a harder time. Already the "pichagua" was broken and the corruption did not leave another way to Juan Guaidó.

Caracas, November 28, 2019


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