Suscribete a TICs & Derechos Humanos

9D: Citizen Awareness

By Luis Manuel Aguana

For those of you who may think that I will entangle myself in the technical analysis of what happened on Sunday, December 9, I will tell you that I will not go any further than to affirm that the same thing that has always happened in all the electoral processes in Venezuela since the regime put the automated voting system into operation: after the closing of the process, the milling of the numbers started again, and a participation that at the closing of the tables at 6:00pm was at 11.16%, with the consequent historical abstention of 88.84%, according to a serious pollster (see in Spanish Meganalisis, the regime's CNE turned it into a matter of minutes to 27.4% (see in Spanish El Nacional

Tiby's little machines once again did the dirty and fraudulent work of the regime by extending participation more than twice, to the astonishment of all Venezuelans who saw live and directly the deserted voting centers throughout the country through the photos and videos that circulated profusely on social networks.

But what I want to highlight as relevant in this new election day is that the Venezuelan people, including pro-government supporters, finally understood that the vote has no meaning in the midst of tyranny. That the current dictatorial vote makes no difference in the quality of life of citizens. That this fallacy of "preserving spaces" has been useless when the regime only allows itself to be "won" if its stability is not at risk.

We have not been those who have warned for many years that Tiby's automated electoral system works like an arranged roulette where only the "house" of the regime wins and loses when it wants, but rather it has been the Venezuelan people who have been disillusioned alone and their social response to that situation has been that gigantic abstention on Sunday, December 9.

We have said it before and we repeat it now: you can not return to the polls without an electoral system that guarantees Authentic Elections. That message has gradually but deeply penetrated the minds of Venezuelans for quite some time, to the point of having reached these levels of non-participation. It could be said that this is a citizen's awareness.

We explain it in detail in the document of the Indefinite Electoral Strike (see in Spanish Apoya la Huelga Electoral Indefinida, en which we called before those fraudulently called elections as we explained at length there, and which we will continue to call after December 9 and until we are restored the right to choose transparently and authentically, as we are entitled to under all the human rights treaties signed by Venezuela.

However, this citizen awareness is not interpreted as such by the official opposition parties that still insist on continuing to play the elections with the dictatorship, and demonizing anyone who dares to disagree with going over and over again to that arranged roulette. They did not yet understand what happened. But we have come to the end. That speech has been exhausted. They have yet to tell us something more than "we have to preserve the spaces" to convince people that by going to vote things will change.

They will now be forced to go deeper into what happened with the voters, trying to understand the reasons why the phenomenon is occurring, and make decisions that will change the outcome of that equation. The citizen's call for political leadership is clear, and from now on instead of "blaming" the citizen they will have to see themselves in a mirror to find those truly responsible for that situation and find solutions.

Citizens have already reached the necessary level of citizen awareness, ignoring those who have persistently deceived them. At this point, it is now necessary to go to the next level that I call the recognition of relevant leadership.

The municipal level is the level closest to the citizen. Mayors and Councillors are the officials who directly deal with the day-to-day problems of communities, and from which people's quality of life derives. If in that context there is no real citizen representation that responds to people's real problems, citizens will never see their aspirations to live better satisfied. And no matter how efficient a mayor or councilman may be, if his interests respond to something other than the interests of the people of the place where they live, the problems of that community will never be solved.

If the election system is dominated by a leadership that does not respond to the neighbors who live in the communities but to the interest of the political groups interested only in putting hands on a budget of municipal works to finance their partisan operations, or traffic with permits, then that distortion or failure of the system, provokes by construction an immediate rejection capable of dividing society. The municipalities are essentially the level of the people, of the civil society. Mayors and Councilmen must come from the civil society that organizationally occupy those positions of close citizen representation from the heart of their communities with the pertinent leadership, leaving to the political sector the regional level, Governors of States, and Deputies to the Legislative Assemblies.

This is part of our proposal within the Proyecto Paś Venezuela promoted by the National Constituent Alliance (ANCO), in its second axis, El Municipio Fuerte. (see in Spanish, Doce Ejes y un Destino: 2) El Municipio Fuerte, en and which is accompanied by an immediate conversion of all the Parishes of the country to Municipalities, in a first stage, with political, administrative, fiscal, and financial independence, as well as with autonomy in matters of health, education, and security for the Municipalities. All this must be discussed in the heart of an Original Constituent, which must be summoned to debate and reconstruct the country institutionally after this castro-chavista-madurista tragedy.

So, seen this way, does an election of Councillors or Mayors under the current system make a difference? Would it improve the quality of life of citizens after this election, if the councillors of the official opposition had won? Obviously not. Even if we get out of the dictatorship, the system is useless. Then the 9D did not lose nor did we gain anything. The Municipalities and their Municipal Chambers will continue to be the closed preserve of the political parties, without any possibility that the citizens will be the ones to watch over what happens in their own space, and where their lives unfold. And until that does not change the citizens will not see improvements by what happens in a municipal election.

It is not strange, then, that now, and given the dictatorship's control of what happens in each community, the citizens are the weakest and defenseless link in this chain, but at the same time their last defense against two predators, the regime on the one hand wanting to put its hand on the last redoubt of the citizens, and on the other hand, the official opposition that refuses to die trying to preserve the only means of financial subsistence that remains in the municipalities because they are not a government. And along that path they will never be.

But now we face a much greater challenge than regaining people's credibility in the electoral system: either the parties change when the dictatorship falls, giving citizens control of their communities, or we will never see a participation that represents the true feelings of the people because the citizens have already become aware of the problem, and consequently democracy will never work in Venezuela. They have no other alternative because if they don't, they will disappear...

Caracas, December 12, 2018


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