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The Frog and Scorpion, or Why More Than Ever We Need a Popular Plebiscite Consultation

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Perhaps Venezuelans have heard so much that criminals rule in Venezuela that this has become commonplace. We always say that the politicians in the government are thieves and corrupt, that it seems that this is normal, when obviously it is not. We hope that those who administer what is everyone's will do so with a minimum of decency and neatness. In fact, one of the main flags - if not the main one - waved by Hugo Chávez to win the Presidency of the Republic of Venezuela in 1998 was the corruption of the binomial adeco-copeyano for 40 years.

But one thing is the corruption of some administrators who put their hand to the public treasury when they are government in a certain proportion and another very different is a multinational criminal corporation with multiple ramifications, among which are drug trafficking, terrorism and regional destabilization. That is why in the United States, when the criminal mafias grew during the first years of the last century, the federal government took charge and strengthened itself, creating multiple agencies dedicated to pursue until its liquidation, those groups that were entrenched in the heart of their society to the point of putting it on the verge of destruction.

This same phenomenon happened in Venezuela but at extraordinary levels. Corruption went so far as to fracture us as a society that it is now the "government" that leads the regional mafia. We call it a "regime" to designate it in some way, but it is a matter of semantically separating what is in theory an extremely bad government from a criminal corporation.

The comparison has been repeated multiple times but it is equally valid: it is as if the head of the Sinaloa cartel governed Mexico or as if Pablo Escobar Gaviria had come to govern Colombia, or if in the next movie "The Godfather", the Corleone family had put his hand to the White House. As a planetary phenomenon this is still under study. In 2017 I wrote on the subject in a note entitled "For a global problem a global solution" (see, where he said things like this: It's not that there are officials bought for the crime, they are the owners of the business and they also manage the power. From money laundering through our main industry to the issuance of public bonds. This is a new phenomenon on a global scale and the trigger for a series of mechanisms that will affect our country in the very short term.

And unfortunately it affected it, with the consequences we are seeing at the end of 2019. When I wrote that note in August 2017, I never imagined the famine that was looming in our country, as well as the massive exodus of Venezuelans never seen before in the Americas. This is the real context in which we must analyze what the official opposition did when it made a pact with this multinational criminal corporation, an "election" through an Agreement in the National Assembly.
In the eyes of the civilized world and of all countries that recognize the government in charge of Juan Guaidó Márquez, Maduro and his mafia must dislodge power at its roots so that Venezuela can retake the constitutional thread and shake the economic suffering of Venezuelans. The criminals, starting with the cartel bosses, must be where the criminals are: in a prison, here or abroad, condemning them for their crimes, especially those against humanity. That must be understood by those who call themselves the legitimate government headed by Juan Guaidó. If they do not "understand" it, it will immediately mean that they are an active part of the problem, and it will be interpreted that they were bought or always belonged to the mafia that reigns in Venezuela.

To those who see it as "normal" to reach an electoral agreement with that mafia because we are civilized and we don't want a massacre among Venezuelans, I'm sorry to spoil your Walt Disney movie. The suffering of Venezuelans will not cease because evil is at the root of the problem. It reminds me of the anecdote of the scorpion and the frog crossing the river. After an agreement like that of the National Assembly where the frog promised to take the scorpion in peace to the other shore without being attacked, the scorpion bites the frog in the middle of the current. And while both were drowning, to the question of the frog as to why it had done so since both would die, the scorpion answered that it was in its nature to sting it. They cannot stop being what they are because they agree to go to an election. In fact they will fix them as they have done in 20 years because they are criminals. Ramos Allup will say he prefers that to a coup. Isn't it because he's part of that mafia? Well, I don't prefer it, as do the rest of Venezuelans, as all the public opinion studies carried out to date have shown. That arrangement goes against the wishes of the majority of Venezuelans.

The big question to the forgers of that Agreement is whether the 22,000 Cubans, or the Russians, Chinese and Iranians who support the regime, will leave the country, or whether they will leave the drug trafficking business, or whether the armed bands of the ELN and the FARC will evict the Venezuelan territory, or whether they will abandon the Plan de la Patria containing the communist postulates of the Cuban revolution.

However, this agreement comes within the framework of the largest selective bottleneck operation that any regime has ever undergone on the part of the international community, in particular the United States, and which will ultimately destroy the regime's aspirations to remain in power. (see in Spanish the Casto Ocando's article  “La Guerra silenciosa de los Estados Unidos y la “Paciencia Estratégica” in Primer Informe, It's like a kind of radiotherapy and chemotherapy together with this cancer that eats Venezuela, and all of us are having a very bad time because of the side effects. Do Guaidó (and his boss López), Ramos, Borges and Rosales really believe that the therapy will be suspended because they reached an "agreement" with a mafia? Please! They know that won't solve the problem but they sell to the Venezuelans that Maduro will go to an election with them, even if he is not a candidate, that they will lose, and they will give them power, and we will all be happy forever as in fairy tales. What do you think? What are stupid innocent people or are they in the stew? Experience tells me that it's more the second than the first...

Seen this way, how would a Popular Plebiscite Consultation be understood in this complex context? Let's see.

In Venezuela, all the referents were lost. And when I say all, it is all. The institutions, the political parties, the economic system, the currency, everything. Everything you can think of is compromised by the criminal behavior of the regime and its actions. It's not just an ideological issue, it's about survival. We are already living the law of the strongest of the jungle in some regions of the country. Whoever is armed, let them solve. That's what we've come to. It's not that Maduro is in power, it's that everything is compromised, including those who negotiate for us. That is why this representation is no longer credible to anyone, no matter how much the people elected the majority on 6D-2015, which is like saying the last century. These reasons make it imperative to call for the base on which every country is built: its Sovereign People.

If the US strategy of strangulation without international intervention is working, why not make it work in our favour? If the G4 and the regime's accomplices negotiated the survival of Maduro and his criminals, forcing Venezuelans into an election that we know will lengthen our suffering indefinitely, we are all duty bound to assume the re-establishment of the Constitution that is described in Article 333 of the Constitution.

And it is based on that constitutional foundation that we tell the International Community that the participatory structure of our Constitution empowers us as a collective and as a civil society to decide what to do with our country once the regime is no longer sustained. In fact, once we decide, the regime will inevitably fall. But for this we need your support of institutional strength. If the International Community understands that by imposing on Nicolás Maduro a plebiscite without the participation of any of the committed powers of the regime, to negotiate the sanctions and its exit for the establishment of a Transitional Government and free elections, after having fumigated the CNE, power will be institutionally transferred to whoever the people decide in that Popular Plebiscite Consultation. It would be the decision of Popular Sovereignty. This is what everyone has said, from the European Community, through the Lima Group, Donald Trump and up to Vladimir Putin.

It would not be with a hidden negotiation that is extremely dubious, nor with agreements that nobody understands. It would be with a Popular Plebiscite Consultation organized by the same Venezuelans suffering from this cancer, with the help of friendly countries, and to be applied immediately. That is our proposal, which is reaffirmed after the betrayal of those who said they represented our interests but forgot that we Venezuelans can directly exercise our sovereignty. The International Community has the floor.

Caracas, October 4, 2019


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