Suscribete a TICs & Derechos Humanos

An opportunity for those at the bottom

By Luis Manuel Aguana

I did not like the alternative that the Americans gave Maduro with his conciliatory proposal of a government of cohabitation with the official opposition. That sounded to me - and still does - like a remedy worse than the disease. Not only because it saves the skins of the drug lords who govern the country, but also because he was looking for a complacent alternative to Juan Guaidó and his interim government to take power with the formula of cohabitation of the "authoritarian enclaves", with half of Chavismo involved in the transition.

In other words " vulture taking care of meat", with a transitional government with the same people who produced the disaster, causing the brutal demoralization of a population that cries out for a minimum of public decency in the next people who come to govern. That was clearly going to prolong the suffering of the millions of people who still live here. I really prefer what happened, that Maduro and his mafia rejected that, just as the entire country rejected that monstrous so-called Guaidó National Emergency Government.

Where does that leave us? In an unbearable wait, where things don't move backwards or forwards. If that gringo proposal was indeed what we assumed to be a "last olive branch" before proceeding with the hard line (see The last olive branch, in So don't keep us waiting any longer, because I have the bad feeling that they still believe that the military mafia, which is equally involved in the drug business, will move in accordingly to get the regime out.

The only way that something will come out of the current FANs is for them to be the military of the middle and lower classes, not involved in the fundamental decisions or business of the regime, and who have troop command and fire power (captains, majors and lieutenants, the so-called COMACATES. The military rank of major or commander is immediately below that of lieutenant colonel and immediately above that of captain) who lead an operation like the one the gringos are painting from outside to liberate Venezuela. There should be military men like Major Marcos Pérez Jiménez, who in 1945 led the coup that overthrew Isaías Medina Angarita on October 18 of that year (although the Adecos still call it the Revolution).

And I wonder: aren't those same middle and lower ranks of the FANs going hungry and working as the rest of the civilians in Venezuela, for some of that to happen? I leave the question open because only they could answer it. The vast majority of those middle and lower ranks must be spending even more work than we civilians are now because it is those cadres who are rattling the roads to the food trucks, and charging tolls to all the economic activities of the country's life, in order to half survive in this hell that Castro-chavismo-madurism turned Venezuela into.

Indeed, in Venezuela, matraqueo must be at an historic economic low. There is no transport because there is no gasoline. All businesses are paralyzed by the COVID-19 and the regime's fuel crisis. Smuggling of fuel was stopped in its tracks, firstly because they destroyed the goose that lays the golden eggs. They survive by kicking the tails of those who pay them for the remaining gasoline. I can imagine how those soldiers at the country's borders who charge everyone who passes by must be eating the stones. But there's no one to charge now, so I don't know what they're living on.

They, the middle and lower military, who have beaten us to death because they are the ones who are controlling the country and supporting Maduro and his regime, are beginning to suffer what we have been suffering for years: the communism of their bosses, who are not even remotely communist because they live like the drug lords that they are. Now the privileges of the middle and lower cadres are over because their only advantage was the prerogative of power over the rest of the country because, being armed in that position, they ask for bribes in order to survive. That's over. Not even the armed collectives are spared from the situation of paralysis in Venezuela. Am I exaggerating?

Now we're all frying in the same pan. Although it is true that not all of the average official is corrupt, as is the case with any other institution, it is difficult to imagine a cost structure of any industry, commerce or company in Venezuela that does not contemplate a high percentage to pay what the military bribe represents. But now, because of the political situation, no one is paid, neither the companies nor the government with their taxes, and of course less the middle and lower military. This should be a good reason to move and resolve the usurpation of the regime. I imagine that they will want to return at least to the "business as usual" of the 4th Republic.

In 2011 I wrote a note that I might consider premonitory, where I pointed out that it was not only those at the top of the regime who were guilty of this misfortune, but all those at the bottom who by action or omission have allowed it to continue, including especially those who have had medium or low responsibilities: "For more than a decade we Venezuelans have contemplated a government dismantling one by one our most precious institutions. And the worst thing is that this dismantling has had the help and open complicity of people with names and surnames who have trampled on people's human rights in the undaunted eyes of all of us” (see in Spanish El ejemplo de Simón Weisenthal, en

If there's anything salvageable from the FAN, it'll be there. It is like when a vineyard is burned and a rebirth of the original plant is only possible if there are still branches that have managed to preserve some greenery inside after the fire, and which is reborn only if the conditions and opportunity exist. Well, if there is some green left inside that institution, I don't think there is any better condition and opportunity than today to show that they can be reborn. Otherwise they will be equally responsible and subject to the future persecution of history and of the Venezuelan hunters, which they will do as Simon Weisenthal did in his time: after the tragedy we will never forget the iniquities committed against our people, both by those above and those below .

Caracas, April 4, 2020


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