The duration of the transition

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Again, the speed of events leaves any analysis outdated from one day to the next. Although the first version, completely unconstitutional, of the Law of the Statute of Transition, which left Juan Guaidó as chief for 30 days (see The Trap of the Statute Law Governing the Transition, was modified and approved in second discussion, giving the President in Charge a maximum term of one year to hold free elections, in the opinion of the National Assembly, even curtailing his discretion to freely appoint his Ministers and Ambassadors or any other power assigned to him by the Constitution.

Only with this straitjacket to the President in Charge, this Law is delaying the first phase of the route, "cessation of usurpation" because it binds the President to do what is necessary from now on to move to the second phase, "Transitional Government". Guaidó is governing collegially with the G4, in clear violation of the principle of unity of command that any president should have.

The forces that must be operating for Guaidó to be operating that way must be very powerful. He does not yet exercise the Transitional Government and they are already making decisions for him that will affect his management of "one year", that is if the National Assembly approves it. It is not easy. However, ALL of us Venezuelans are riding with him in that great ship called Venezuela and now, as never before, we don't want him to sink. The success of that first year of transition is in everyone's interest.

For the time being we had without realizing a first success when by the force of public opinion we rejected everywhere Article 26 of the Statute Law in first discussion to the point that they modified it. But it didn't end there. The intention was and still is to suppress the leadership of a young man whom circumstances put there and who is at the apex of a hurricane.

Otherwise, as it is understood that without waiting for the first two phases of the strategy to be fulfilled, "cessation of usurpation" and "Transitional Government", Leopoldo López's wife is already talking about the candidacies that correspond to the third phase of the process, "free elections". It seems that the fear of losing that chance is as free as those elections we want to make (see news in Spanish in

The truth is that anything can happen in Venezuela, from when Maduro stays (don't be surprised!) until the President ends up being anyone, even though Maduro's permanence in power looks very distant. For now what we must achieve together is to complete the first phase and that Maduro is finished going, something that apparently some important members of VP are not considering with the same priority to open that discussion out of time and inopportune.

The truth is that each phase requires the previous one to be fulfilled. There can be no Transitional Government without the Cessation of Usurpation, and Free Elections are an impossible dream without the first two. So civil society and especially the militancy of the parties must be seriously engaged in order to make Maduro leave and not think now of eating a cake of which the ingredients still do not exist.

But that is not what worries me about the news of the wife of the maximum VP leader, but that she prefers to break the path begun by Guaidó if she sees her husband's presidency threatened, taking the hope of a people by the horns. Just like when a spoiled boy takes the bat and the ball that are his property because they did not put him in the inning and ends the game. Either I play or there is no game. That worries me.

VP has the golden opportunity to change the country. And not only for the fact of leaving the regime definitively, but also to make the fundamental political generational relays that make possible a revision of the political model by which the Republic has been governed for more than 200 years. It is a tremendous responsibility and they seem not to be aware of it.

However, an agreement between the main parties of the National Assembly is already being heard that would prevent Guaidó from opting to continue in his Presidency after the first year, thereby nullifying his aspiration to run for Presidential office. They no longer want the Wolfgang Larrazabal phenomenon to be repeated, with the unleashed and unexpected popularity of the young man. Imagine, you have not let him govern and you no longer want him to compete in a race to which he has a legitimate right. And what happens if he does it well? Why stop him from continuing? It is up to the people of Venezuela, not the politicians in the National Assembly, to decide. However, the ambitions unleashed are capable of putting an end to the little that has been achieved, and many could be preferring us to stick with the continuation of this dictatorship rather than them controlling power after the Transition. Beware of those pseudo-democrats!

That is why we must take care as a greenhouse crop that just germinates this social phenomenon that is being presented with the presidency of Juan Guaidó helping in everything we can so that it grows and becomes strong. That is why there are many warnings to let his transition come to an end and let him govern with all his constitutional prerogatives. The opposition to the regime finally has a credible, fresh, young and responsive face.

No one can know what will happen in a year's time. In fact, no one could even imagine what happened from December to this date. That is why tying up with laws now for what will happen in a year's time, in a situation as unstable as the one in Venezuela, is little less than stupidity, or at least disrespect for what we have achieved with the blood of many.

If within a year it is convenient that Juan Guaidó and his team stay longer to consolidate what is necessary to then call elections, not only free but Authentic, then it must stay. The duration of the transition cannot be written in stone because some politicians attending to the personal ambitions of their chiefs defined it in a law without considering how we Venezuelans were left there. The Transition must last as long as it takes for Venezuelans to ensure that what comes next has the necessary future stability, and that cannot be guessed at this time. And if that is not understood by the politicians of the National Assembly, then it should be decided by the Venezuelan people, who are the main affected by this tragedy, at the appropriate moment....

Caracas, February 15, 2019


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