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For a new trilogy: Plebiscite, Governing Council and Constituent

By Luis Manuel Aguana

It is not easy to conceive of an alternative proposal without saying what will happen after you apply it. So far our plebiscite proposal goes as far as the exit of the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros, as a solution to the "cessation of usurpation", as opposed to elections, which nobody in their healthy logic can understand how to expel it. How do you expel someone from power by competing in elections precisely with the one you want to expel, and to top it all managed by him? If it wasn't so serious, I'd say it's a joke.

Logic assumes that you must previously expel them through a constitutional mechanism (i.e., cease usurpation), and then after expelled, proceed to form a Transitional Government that calls for free elections. But this irrefutable logic - which we did not invent - is being rejected by the official opposition, to the point of now being a hindrance to those who approved the Transition Statute that established it.

Negotiating elections - and other important things in the life of the country that we do not yet know - to live with the regime, is what is on the agenda of the official opposition. They are not following the order established in the Statute of the Transition, even if they tell us that they are negotiating for the "cessation of usurpation". What they are selling us goes against common sense. Hence, all Venezuelans await with some anxiety the outcome of those negotiations in Barbados (formerly Oslo, Norway) in order to pronounce ourselves definitively on that "mamarrachada" that the only thing that has been successful is having given more time to Maduro in power.

Fighting against this electoral logic, we have proposed the Plebiscite so that it is the people who decide the continuity of Maduro's regime, although many wonder how it can be possible to shake off a tyranny with votes. Well, in the way we propose the sequence, we believe that it is possible if we have all the support of the International Community.

However, I do not want to dwell here on the mechanism of the proposed Plebiscite, which I believe is sufficiently explained in my previous notes (see in Spanish Porque un Plebiscito SI y unas Elecciones NO en Venezuela, in, Las tres fases del Plebiscito, in, Plebiscite: Let the People Decide to Cease Usurpation, in, but to look a little further into what should happen when the usurpation ceases.

And that's where I think more analysis should start to be developed because that's the least talked about in all of this history. The regime and the castro-chavismo-madurismo will not leave the structure of the State or the Venezuelan political reality immediately, even if we Venezuelans decide it and have the external help to expel them from power.

There will be a special period in the life of the country that we call "transition" in which very hard and difficult decisions will need to be made that will require a great deal of political experience and wisdom, things that have consistently been demonstrated by those who have led us to this point in time to two failed attempts at recovery using the criminal structure of the regime. In both 23F and 30A the official opposition conducted failed covert negotiations with part of that criminal structure, which then remained open in Norway and Barbados. If by any providence civil society, through a plebiscitary process, achieves the recovery of Venezuela from the hands of these kidnappers, control of the country will constitutionally fall into the hands of the novices who negotiated with the regime. We cannot forget that detail for one second.

We cannot forget that the parties that established the Transition Statute and grudgingly agreed that Juan Guaidó would exercise a mediated mandate as President in Charge of the Republic, without exercising all his constitutional powers, are the people who would govern the country after Maduro, according to that Statute, and of course according to the constitutional mandate of Article 233. It would be little less than naivety to think that the tangle of political corruption with which it was intended to govern 30A would be dissolved after the "cessation of usurpation". How can this be avoided?

Some of you may say to me "but what you want is for the tiger to eat us" arguing that after the regime leaves all these things can be controlled because "the opposition" will be governing. To those who say that, I must respectfully direct you to come down from that cloud. The country will be completely dismembered and institutionally destroyed, so whoever puts his hands on it will do with it practically whatever he wants. Will we have institutions to control the corruption of the new rulers and avoid the "take off yourself to put on me" which will surely come, which will take advantage of the lack of control and the chaos that will leave us? No, because those institutions will have to be built during the transition period. But in the meantime, what?

Therefore, during this special transition period, Venezuelans should demand that it is not only Juan Guaidó who is in charge of the new Transitional Government, as established in the Transitional Statute, but that it be a Governing Council headed by the President in Charge, that is representative of civil society and composed of personalities in whom the country trusts. That not only the political country that is heir is there, but also the national country, with personalities representing the life of the country, and with sufficient political and administrative experience to support the complex and difficult process that this new leadership will have to face, and on whom will fall the responsibility to lead the country after coming out of the tragedy of this regime.

In this sense, the National Assembly, according to the Transition Statute, has the obligation to "Articulate actions with civil society to promote mechanisms of citizen participation that legitimize the democratic transition process and favor the cessation of the usurpation of presidential powers by Nicolás Maduro Moros" (Article 16.6 of the Transition Statute). And what greater citizen participation than a qualified representation of democratic civil society that leads the country's destiny together with Juan Guaidó, at what would be the most important moment in Venezuela's history?

This interpretation of the Transition Statute in favor of citizens is necessary to safeguard the interests of Venezuelans until a minimum institutional base can be built to protect the interests of all, beginning with the Justice System. We must ensure that after this tragedy the country is not managed by people or parties but by institutions that can be controlled by citizens. And this leads us to the next step of this proposed trilogy: a true Constituent process of Originary character that leads to a new institutionalization of Venezuela.

Some may say that I am overtaking events and perhaps they are right. However, that Transitional Government has an ethical and moral obligation to take the decisions that will lead us to lay the foundations for a new structure for the political, economic and social functioning of the country after the socialist destruction. And that CANNOT be done only by the governing political fraction. It would be serious, as well as excluding, aberrant. All Venezuelans must and must intervene in this historic task through their genuine representation. And this can only be achieved through an Original Constituent process that calls for the legitimate representation of all citizens. Juan Guaidó and that Council of Government have the highest responsibility to summon and consult the country in the realization of an Original Constituent process to remake the institutional bases of this destroyed country. And at the end of that constructive process, which includes the Electoral Power, to call for free, fair and transparent elections to manage the beginning of a new Venezuela.

I invite you to think now of a new possible trilogy, composed of a Plebiscite for the "cessation of usurpation", a Governing Council for the Transition, which includes civil society as a guarantee for the citizens of a decent government during the transition, and finally the convocation of the Original Constituent that builds the country on new political, economic and social bases, for the Venezuela of the new generations.

Caracas, August 3, 2019


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