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Mercenaries, traitors and patriots

By Luis Manuel Aguana

In honor of the fallen and captured for the freedom of Venezuela

I had been really excited by the news that revealed that the interim government had made decisions around starting military actions to confront the regime, signing a contract with private elements abroad, even if they finally failed. And why did I say that? Because that at least demonstrated concrete steps in the direction of militarily dismantling the regime from outside using the resources they have available and which do not belong to them but to the Venezuelans. No one could object to that action. Besides, this is not the first time that this has happened in Venezuela's long history in the struggle to dislodge tyrannies in the past.

But then I had to be disappointed again by Guaidó and his interim government when they read that pathetic statement where they denied that action, indicating that "The Legitimate Government has no relationship with any company in the security and defense branch. We have no relationship with or responsibility for the actions of the SilverCorp company or its representative” (see in Spanish Gobierno de Guaidó niega vinculación con la empresa SilverCorp y su representante Jordan Goudreau, in It is quite difficult to believe the Interim Government and its team, after seeing the signatures of Juan Guaidó, Sergio Vergara and JJ Rendón in a contract that will very possibly see the light of day in the next few hours, all this without counting the audios that have transcended publicly where Juan Guaidó is clearly heard diligently signing that contract. It is even possible that the mercenary Goudreau will be able to take Guaidó and the rest of the signatories to court in the United States. For less than that, fortunes have been lost in that country where contracts are enforced in the courts on pain of ruin.

And I don't really know what the problem is in denying it. What they're really trying to deny is that they screwed up by having double agent Cliver Alcalá inside as Juan Guaido's military advisor since the first botched job on February 23, 2019 in Cúcuta. And that contract is a consequence of that. I want to clarify that the bad thing was not in signing that military aid, but in those who trusted Juan Guaidó and his interim government to execute it. From those rains came those muds.

But the most serious thing in that communiqué from the interim government is not to have denied that it signed that contract, but to reaffirm the error of the route of cohabitation with the regime: "We ratify our central approach: the only way to save our country from an unprecedented catastrophe will be with the formation of a National Emergency Government”. This route embraces the regime and the official opposition. And it does not move forward because that is a dialogue where the regime stays, betraying the Venezuelans.

And there is something worse (if possible): that mistakes on that scale cost lives. The launch of Operation Gideon without the financial backing of the interim government is costing the lives of Venezuelans. And that blood is on the hands of those who made that decision, which they now deny. Rulers, whether they are interim, are responsible by action or omission for the decisions they make, and there is nothing more deplorable than not facing them because sooner or later they have a very high cost, even if they slip behind the lie of denying it.

Too many mistakes that could well be attributed to inexperience, lack of consistency in the decisions made, and most importantly, in my opinion, the very serious collusion of the official opposition factors with the regime, make any initiative a very painful failure for the Venezuelans' struggle. This is not a lack of courage on the part of our institutional military, which has demonstrated ad nauseam that it does exist and by far. It is the failure to know how to lead them militarily and politically. If for some reason power falls into the hands of that mediocre leadership due to forces we have not yet visualized, that government would not last. It could not last.

It's not only through sheer bravery that battles are won. Courage is necessary but not sufficient. I don't know why this is happening with the liberation groups already in the country. From the expeditions of the Precursor Francisco de Miranda, through the many that review the contemporary history of Venezuela such as the Falke, extraordinarily recounted by Federico Vegas (*) in his book, and arriving at this one of Operation Gideon, they had a common component: a deep love for the freedom of Venezuela and the extraordinary courage of its members to offer their lives for it. The time will come to honor that in the future for those true patriots. But to do so, there must be people in charge who understand it and recognize its true value. And that is not what we see in the current Venezuelan political landscape that seeks power in Venezuela without deserving it.

So, what to do? Let the regime get away with it? Let the mediocre opposition politicians continue to deceive Venezuelans as Guaidó did by denying signing that contract? If there is anything left after all this badly orchestrated mess, it is that neither one nor the other has the capacity to handle a transition to the level that Venezuelans need. And if this modest writer realizes that, won't those outside of Venezuela who hold that interim presidency realize it? It's something to worry about very much.

I believe that any military, police or institutional armed force has an obligation to try something to displace a regime that has violated the Constitution. That is the essence of Article 333 of the Constitution. These people in times of peace are given special treatment precisely because of that. The military are the only professionals that the Republic supports until they die. They do not go out on the streets to look for work after they graduate. The Republic gives them that treatment precisely because they are the last bastion in the defense of its institutions. Those military personnel who fulfill that oath should be honored and recognized, although my recommendation is that the Republic needs them alive. They should not immolate themselves at the command of worthless people.

A high-ranking military intelligence specialist once indicated, commenting on the case of Oscar Perez, that if this top-level policeman in his field had applied all the knowledge he had based on his special training, he would have caused much more damage to the regime than trying to confront it head-on, with a much greater brute force than he and his companions, and he might still be alive. And the regime knew that, and that was the reason why they slaughtered him so viciously in the eyes of the whole world as they did. To set an example to those like him who would do something like that, and for fear that Perez would use against them what he knew how to do very well and did not do. I would dare to say, without knowing absolutely anything about this type of military operation, to those who are risking their lives for Venezuela, not to make the same mistake as Oscar Perez of doing something beyond the capabilities for which they were trained. That could possibly save their lives, making the sacrifice they are making for the Venezuelans more efficient.

Caracas, May 5, 2020


(*)Erratum: In the first publication on May 5th I mistakenly placed the name of Francisco Vegas instead of Federico Vegas as the author of the novel "Falke". My apologies for that unintentional mistake...LMA, 07-05-2020

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