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Overthrow is constitutional

By Luis Manuel Aguana

With the suggestive title that heads this note, Dr. Carmen Cecilia Perez, host of the program "Politically Speaking" which is transmitted from New York via YouTube on the CaracasTVInternational channel (see Caracas TV Internacional, in https://youtu.be/AT6Y6KGcry0), began an important campaign on social networks that began with an extraordinary interview with Dr. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León (see Políticamente Hablando, 26/mayo/2020, Entrevista a la Dra. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León, en https://youtu.be/cxx3xk83bg4) which explains in precise legal detail why we Venezuelans not only do not commit a crime by trying to displace the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros from power, but on the contrary, we are obliged to do so.

And the fact that this campaign to overthrow is constitutional makes a lot of sense to me because the common Venezuelan is convinced, not only by the regime's means, but by the official opposition itself, that any attempt to evict by the means at our disposal the criminals who illegally exercise power, constitutes a crime, or something that must be punished by the authorities who in bad times govern in Venezuela. And that is not the case.

I was particularly struck by Dr. Perez's comment that we Venezuelans are in a state of self-defense. In other words, they are killing us and we have the right to defend ourselves. Dr. Mármol indicated: "I like to highlight from the example you gave of self-defense that these are exceptions poique at that time when dealing with similar circumstances the conduct that in principle would be punishable and therefore illegal, and anti-legal, which is the most important thing, is legitimate because when you act in self-defense you are defending your own life, which is above any other legal good, so that makes it a legitimate action and not a criminal one. It is the same, mutatis mutandi, that you are saying, that to overthrow is constitutional, you are saying that to overthrow is legitimate. And it is legitimate because? Because what is unconstitutional and if it is unconstitutional it is illegitimate"... "And it is very important to see it like that, to go to the root because you know what? that reassures, that makes people feel that they are doing the right thing, and that they are exercising their right which is the most important thing. Because we have the right to be free, the right to choose our President in good standing, to have reliable elections…”.

Only with that clear-cut explanation from Dr. Marmol do I join Dr. Perez's campaign. All Venezuelans are obliged to collaborate in the restoration of constitutional order in Venezuela. This is nothing more than what is stated in Articles 333 (every citizen invested with authority or not is obliged to collaborate in the restoration of the validity of the constitution) and 350 of the Constitution (all Venezuelans will disregard any regime, legislation or authority that contravenes democratic values, principles and guarantees or that undermines human rights).

I say that the official opposition has helped the Venezuelan feel that a crime is being committed when one proceeds against the regime by not acting by example. The incursions that have historically been made in the past to rescue freedom have been commanded by Venezuelans, starting with those of Francisco de Miranda. And they have always been considered by the official status quo as insurrections (from the Spaniards to the criminals of the present).

And you will say, but if we do that the regime will persecute us and put us in jail. And that's true, since they have the strength on their side. But it is one thing for you, who can hardly bring food to your house because of a pandemic, to get involved in a libertarian operation and it is quite another for those to whom we delegated that responsibility on December 6, 2015, and who have the means (the real ones) and the international recognition to do so, to do so. Even with the collaboration of the military personnel who gave them their support by deserting the regime and presenting themselves in Colombia to be put in charge.

And that's what Dr. Mármol referred to when she indicated that if all these troops were organized with Juan Guaidó at the head, who in the exercise of his position moves from abroad to the rescue of the country with the support of the international community, that act would not constitute an "invasion" in the terms of the regime or anyone else, since they would be Venezuelans in compliance with a fully established constitutional obligation. And in the same act it would also call on the military active within the country to accompany that action of rescuing freedom. That "overthrow" would be fully constitutional and could not be called a coup d'état in any case.

But unfortunately we have seen that this is not exactly the tone of the official Venezuelan opposition, which is the opposition's interlocutor before the rest of the countries of the world. The official opposition, with Guaidó at the head, instead of proceeding as Dr. Mármol mentioned, is collecting signatures for the return of DirecTV. If it weren't so pathetic it would be laughable.

What can we Venezuelans do in the face of this dramatic reality, where those who should be doing something decided to live with our kidnappers? First of all, understand the situation before our eyes. That at this moment the official opposition is preparing to call us again to elections with the regime. These elections so far do not enjoy the approval of the international community led by the United States.

The regime is taking concrete steps towards the appointment of a cohabitation CNE. The first and most important has been the ratification of Deputy Luis Parra as President of the National Assembly, prohibiting the installation of a parallel or virtual Parliament, displacing Juan Guaidó and his (see in Spanish Sala Constitucional del TSJ ratifica a Luis Parra como presidente de la AN, en https://www.panorama.com.ve/politicayeconomia/Sala-Constitucional-del-TSJ-ratifica-a-Luis-Parra-como-presidente-de-la-AN-20200526-0064.html).

This step, which had taken a long time, will accelerate the appointment of the new Rectors of the CNE from within that National Assembly. The second will be the call for elections in December by that new CNE. We will soon know if the United States' position of non-recognition of new elections with the regime in Miraflores, before that new parliamentary election, and the new position of Juan Guaidó after that ruling, will continue.

If Juan Guaidó does not empower himself as the President in charge and does what he has to do after that expected decision of the regime's TSJ, he cannot expect anything else but persecution and jail. In other words, I think this will be his last chance to finish understanding that overthrowing is constitutional...

Caracas, May 27, 2020

Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com
Twitter:@laguana

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