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The dilemma of the lizards with tails

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Venezuelans have divided again between supporting or not the permanent electoralist tendency of the opposition parties in the constant trap of calling them to elections.

It is clear to all that parties live on that. The financial support, the payment with contracts in positions of government to the favors received, has been the degeneration imposed by a method of doing politics that has benefited all who are in the "business of politics" - if you can call it that - but nothing to the people who choose them. Bad business for us!

That scheme falls into an open contradiction when what is happening in the country when the leaders are made very difficult to explain that to remain in the "business of politics" Venezuelans have to swallow a militarized drug tyranny. It is there where political leaders must choose between the principles that govern this activity or stop receiving the benefits of their political positions.

Serious problem for those characters who published in cartoons Leoncio Martínez and Pedro León Zapata as lizards with tails, who would prefer to sell their mother for a plate of  beans a thousand times before losing an inch in the newspaper columns, when they find themselves in the dilemma of freedom or the money. They will always prefer the money, and let someone to look for the freedom.

I give you this 1936 picture to show you that this problem is nothing new:

Then the incursion into politics of other different people who do not perceive politics as a business from which to profit or take advantage of any kind in their favor becomes imperative. It seems difficult but not impossible.

In a recent address, Pope Francis wisely stated:”Anyone who is too attached to material things or the mirror, who likes money, exuberant banquets, sumptuous mansions, refined costumes, luxury cars, would be advised to look at what is going on in his heart and pray that God will release him from these bonds. But to paraphrase a former Latin American President who is here, who has a taste for all these things, please don't get involved in politics, don't get involved in a social organization or popular movement, because it will do a lot of damage to himself or to his neighbor and it will stain the noble cause he is fighting. He doesn't want to get into the seminar either...” (see the Pope's address in

Very appropriate and opportune these words of Pope Francis for this moment in the life of Venezuela, now that precisely is being defined in whom to believe, given the macro-devaluation of the credibility of the political leaderships that lead the official opposition, which is certainly worse than that of our monetary sign. That is why Venezuela claims, needs and demands the appearance of new drivers with a clear discourse capable of carrying out the precise mandate that the population gave on 16J and which is still waiting for its materialization.

What we have unfortunately seen is the clear imposition of the regime and its unconstitutional, illegitimate and fraudulent National Constituent Assembly, of its undisputed demand that it be recognized as an obligation, throughout the national and international world. Vain aspiration. Venezuelans will never be able to recognize an entity that by definition should have arisen from our status as custodians of Sovereignty and not from the imposition of an illegitimate agent. That is why all the acts and decisions of that Constituent are null, and even worse, but null and void and illegitimate will be the regime that intends to impose them. Hence the regime's desperation to reach an agreement at the Dominican Republic.

The regime, using the "official representation" of Venezuelan opponents based in the MUD, claims that it recognizes this Constituent in negotiations in the Dominican Republic, which should never have started in principle, only because they were led by nothing less than the President of that Constituent. Greater cheekiness of the regime and worse lack of shame on the part of the official opposition by accepting that from the outset. They threw away the 7.5 million wills that ordered them to reject that illegitimate Constituent in Question No. 1 of the 16J Popular Consultation.

MUD spokespersons have declared to the media that they "will not recognize the National Constituent Assembly as required by the government of Nicolas Maduro" (see MUD will not recognize constituent for dialogue with the government in Mexico. It is highly suspicious then that even the claims of "dialogue" with the regime or "exploratory discussions" as they are now called if it has clearly and repeatedly indicated that this condition is indeclinable. What are they still doing there? Looking for a compromise solution to the regime to legalize what is clearly illegal and fraudulent? As long as they continue to negotiate - because that is what they do as exploratory as they call it - the less credibility they will have of any agreement they intend to sell us afterwards.

I think the lizards with tails ran out of time. Either they are with us, the Venezuelans who voted on 16J for immediate political change, not by 2018 or later, or they are with the permanence of the regime. It's as simple as that. Or we all oppose them leaving or the lizards ending up joining the regime to stay. But don't pretend to sell us as our representatives. They can no longer be sold as opposition if they want something different from the people's mandate.

Different political and civil society actors aware of this situation are already reacting to this intolerable state of affairs. You're either opposition or government. If you play for their continuity to cohabitate, you participate in the game of the regime, period. Lizards with tails are faced with a serious dilemma that must be resolved as soon as possible: Either they comply with the citizenship that was expressed on 16J or they move away so that it generates its own solution that gives it a different direction to what must happen in Venezuela.

Caracas, September 26,2017


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