Suscribete a TICs & Derechos Humanos

The COVID-19 excuse

By Luis Manuel Aguana

18 years after a massacre.
In honor of the victims of April 11, 2002

What I am going to say will sound harsh: in Venezuela, unlike the rest of the countries in the world, all political actors are using the Chinese plague COVID-19 to avoid doing their part. One could not expect less from the regime, by using the coronavirus as an excuse, they hide the widespread human rights abuses, to the point of submitting entire populations to the FARC and ELN militias. This has just been demonstrated by the episode of the nun who confronted the ELN guerrillas in Capacho, Táchira State, where the regime's associated guerrillas intended to convert a Catholic school into a refuge for people returning from Colombia (see in Spanish, En Táchira una monja enfrentó a un guerrillero del ELN para defender su colegio,

Instead of transferring these people to their states of origin as should be done in any civilized operation, the regime intends to use the border states militarily controlled by its Colombian guerrilla associates, as concentration camps, without any conditions to retain the mass of population that is being returned to Venezuela. Why do they do this? Because they have no way of controlling this problem and they make it exponentially worse by using the COVID-19 as an excuse, creating pockets of crime because there is no way of keeping large numbers of people without the minimum services for their confinement in quarantine. The ELN and FARC guerrillas function as the Nazi guards of the concentration camps they are beginning to create at the borders.

You will say "but if there are probably coronaviruses in those people, how can those potential carriers of the virus be brought to the rest of the states of Venezuela?" Well, the regime isn't giving a damn about the health condition of these people. They are taking people like animals to these forced shelters, like the case of that school in Capacho, without food and without adequate sanitary facilities. And if they are infected, they will not have medical treatment because no one will know because that area is controlled by irregular forces. The violation of human rights is astronomical.

The regime has no fuel for the people and even less for those who are fighting the Chinese plague, only for those who can repress, that is the police and the military, and they fear that the risk of contamination will reach the rest of the states. If they can be moved and are contaminated, at least the people who are arriving would have a chance in their respective states of origin by being reported. But that unfortunately will not happen in an environment controlled by the Colombian guerrillas. That's what's behind the Capacho nun incident.

According to reports from the regime's representative in Táchira, Freddy Bernal, a caravan of between 3,000 and 5,000 Venezuelans who are returning from Ecuador and Colombia is approaching (see in Spanish, Bernal: Por la frontera se espera llegada de venezolanos de Ecuador y Colombia, en and intend to hold them forcibly in Táchira with the ELN and FARC guerrillas, turning that entity into a large concentration camp. Knowing the libertarian nature of the gochos, we will soon see how this will go.

The regime's crude and dangerous remedy for treating this COVID-19 tragedy on the border with Colombia will be worse than the disease. Of all the people who are returning, there will be no way to control who is and who is not contaminated, and sooner or later they will end up integrating into the rest of the population because no one will be confined to the border states except at the high cost of repression and death.

Is it with Cubans and Chinese that the regime intends to stop this possible tragedy in Táchira, tinged with the associated repression of the Colombian guerrillas? Does Bernal have all the campaign infrastructure and resources that the Colombians in Cúcuta had to deal with this human sea that appeared overnight on the Colombian border? It is difficult for the Cubans - who are living in Venezuela like parasites on our ribs - and even less so for the Chinese who have their own problems with the COVID-19 they themselves invented. They will run over the people of Táchira, as was the case with that nun from Capacho, and they will destroy the rest of the infrastructure that remains of that brave state. There's a potential time bomb on the border catalyzed by COVID-19.
And what is the official opposition doing in the face of all this tragedy, other than saying that they want to live with these criminals politically, as was officially stated by Deputy José Guerra on a television program? Using the COVID-19 as an excuse to reach a political agreement with the regime under the umbrella of the American proposal of a government of cohabitation. This is unacceptable to the population, who have rejected it in a very clear way.

And while in the country the humanitarian situation of the people grows exponentially every day, the least of our problems will be COVID-19. The biggest problem for Venezuelans continues to be the regime and its official opposition, who are using the Chinese plague as an excuse for, the first to hide the criminal failure of their administration and keep the population under control with a globally accepted excuse; and the second to avoid having to do something concrete (among other reasons because they are his accomplices) that at once assumes that the only way to adequately fight that Chinese plague is to expel these criminals from power (as the cost failure to do so will be immensely superior), and subsequently seeking urgent and immediate international assistance. That is our true tragedy, not COVID-19. However the reality is stubborn. We are fast approaching a point where Venezuela has no other solution than to finish facing that reality, but many lives will be lost on the way there. And those factors of force that - inside or outside the country - first arrive at that conclusion, would have to deal of what remains of Venezuela.

Caracas, April 11, 2020


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