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I am Venezuela

By Luis Manuel Aguana

It seems that when the initiative of a new alliance called “I am Venezuela” is made public (see news in right after my previous note (see Towards a new opposition coalition in Venezuela, this would immediately become a kind of anticipated publicity, of those that advertisers of products to come but without mentioning the name. Nothing could be so far from reality. I was unaware of the initiative of this group of Venezuelans, who apparently had been developing previously, arriving at the same conclusion about the need to form a new opposition alternative, obvious to me for a long time, but which becomes indispensable at this dark moment in the life of the country.

However, I believe that there are some considerations that I think it is necessary to comment on after the debut of "I am Venezuela" in the Venezuelan political scene and that are important to highlight because I think Venezuela needs, demands, requires that an alternative like this one be successful, even above any "in pectore" aspirations that some of its organizers may have.

The first thing that must be emphasized is that any organization that seeks to enforce the mandate given by the Venezuelan people on 16J, and assume the representation of Venezuelans as valid opposition, over and above the official opposition formed in the MUD, must legitimize its aspiration before the Venezuelan people, clearly establishing from the beginning its differentiating character. You can't play on both boards at the same time in an ambiguous way, saying that you still belong to the MUD by opening another front that intends to do the same.

The MUD is still recognized as the official Venezuelan opposition. It is not in vain that the government negotiates with them as our representatives. And that's the real problem we face. Where does that franchise come from? The popular vote. This new organization must then ask the people in popular consultation whether or not they want a new opposition leadership led by them, and submit the proposed new route to the people for consideration. It cannot be a blank cheque as it has been so far with the MUD.

The MUD did not come out by spontaneous generation. It was born as an expression of opposition from the vote received in all electoral processes since that political grouping of electoral character exists. It is the representatives of the MUD who are meeting until now outside the country as legitimate representatives of the opposition vote and that is why if their decisions throw us out of a precipice we can do nothing to prevent it. It is for that reason that this opposition must be turned around democratically.

The MUD proved to have diverted the mandate of the Venezuelan people from 16J, making decisions that have strengthened the regime of Nicolas Maduro, thus ceasing to represent what the opposition majority wants at this crucial moment of the Republic. Consequently, it must be replaced by an organized entity that properly conducts the process of replacing the regime and responds to the interests and mandate of the Venezuelan people who voted on 6D-2015 and 16J-2017, and not to the electoral interests that have been evidenced by the leaders of the political parties grouped in the MUD.
Until now, Venezuelans have used the wrong tool to confront this serious problem in the country. It's like trying to climb a steep hill using a sedan-type car when it's appropriate to use a rustic. And so we have 15 years of melting down all the sedan cars we have had, trying to climb the hill of regime substitution. It seems that someone finally understood that another type of car is required to climb that hill, in the same way as the MUD - for any number of reasons - is not the right vehicle to get out of this criminal mafia in power. And this new Alliance could be the solution.

The second thing we must point out is that any new opposition Alliance to face the challenge of rescuing democracy cannot have the same aims, nor must it be structurally designed as the MUD. It should not be a new political grouping seeking power in electoral competitions. If it is understood in this way, then it is born deformed. That has been the mistake made by the official opposition, which leads it to conclude that it is with elections that the regime must leave. If you are a political party in a democracy with the rule of law, that statement is valid.

But we are not in democracy, nor is there a rule of law in force in Venezuela, but rather a militarized drug mafia that has seized power, with which we cannot even use the tools that are commonly used to settle conflicts in situations of war, such as dialogue and negotiation. It is for this reason that there is a need for ad hoc formulas, procedures and different mechanisms, as well as a new type of organizing protagonist who must now take control of the situation to apply them, until we return to political-parties normality in the country.

As a consequence of the latter, any “aspiration” or presentation of any participant of this initiative as a “presidable” is out of place, seeking or pretending to seek any position in the political future of the country. That may certainly come after solving the tragic problem that plagues all Venezuelans. That is why it is wrong that the launch first started from an announcement made by a well-known political leader such as María Corina Machado, who, although having all the merits, divides the approach causing the impression of another strategy to obtain political advantages (see If the approach is Maria Corina’s based, it will lose its binding effect on different tendencies for the supreme purpose of the Alliance. And so it could be said of any other political leader who would push the initiative forward.

This initiative should use the competitive advantages that each member possesses to be applied in a single strategy aimed at one sole purpose: to regain freedom. This criterion gives way to a different methodology from those already known in the political field to achieve a common objective. It must agglomerate all the wills, however different they may be, to agree to participate and play a role in a new plan of struggle that must be built on the ideas of all.

And finally, my most important consideration: a new opposition structure must be clear from the outset that it is not enough to "remove" Nicolas Maduro from power and end his regime. The thing goes beyond that. The country must be healed institutionally to prevent this from happening to us again. And for this purpose, anything that is intended to be done later must pass through the legitimate call for a National Constituent Original Assembly, which will reengineer the political system, re-institute the country and reconcile Venezuelans in justice. Not doing so is the equivalent of having another Chavez in power around the corner. If that was valid before, it is more so now with Maduro's fraudulent constituent and it will remain so after these bandits come out of power.

At this point Venezuelans must be very clear that it will not be possible to defeat the narco militarized tyranny of Maduro without first resolving opposition collaborationism.  In fact, I dare say that the second is more difficult than the first. And if we understand that both things have not been able to achieve at the same time, we must tackle the most difficult first because in solving the first, the second comes out in addition. If the new Alliance “I am Venezuela”, to whom we wish the greatest success, is able to solve the opposition problem without falling into the vices of the MUD, I am sure we will be astonished to see that both issues will be solved at the same time ...

Caracas, September 19,2017


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