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Understanding a Manifesto for Popular Consultation, Unity and Reconciliation

By Luis Manuel Aguana

They call us divisionists, it's not the first time. That we do not "understand" the political moment in the country, proposing a constituent one, that what it does is to put more confusion than there is in the environment and in the political discussion, preventing somehow the solution that Venezuelans are looking for to the problem. That we have to "simplify" the message because, who understands that of "constituent" at this moment? That what is there is now is to leave the regime and rescue democracy by any means necessary, as some political voices clearly say. A friend of mine once told me rightly that no one said life was easy. And it certainly has not been for anyone who swims against the tide of public opinion that cries out for change at the cost of anything.

Even if I repeat like a parrot that what we are proposing is not a constituent but a scenario where all Venezuelans can reconcile in peace in the legitimate proportions that each one is entitled to, discussing in that space a new Project of Country for a nation immersed in the greatest of chaos, completely unbound and destroyed.

Are we Venezuelans willing to do that? That's the big question. The 1999 constitution was the imposition of one country on another in a fraudulent manner. Fifty-two percent of the votes were cast with 98% of the constituent assembly members, leaving the remaining 48% without voice nor vote. That could not be stable in the long term creating the conditions for the April 2002 events. What are we proposing? Resolve the problem created in 1999 at its root, restoring to the people their right to have the country they themselves design within the framework of a legitimate Constituent, resolving on the way the serious problem of who should be in government.

It is clear that from 1999 a lot of water has passed under the bridge, including the Cuban invasion backed by a traitor as President of the Republic, with the imposition of a model that does not correspond to what the Venezuelan people are culturally, nor does it want for their future. That complicated and distorted the picture dramatically more, to the point that it is not being correctly seen what solution to apply to this phenomenon.

And if we spice that up with the interests of other countries, created as a result of the initial disaster, such as the Chinese, Russians, Iranians, and stop counting, along with the historical confrontation of the blocs and interests of foreign powers in the east and west of the world, you will tell me who is in control of the situation in Venezuela.

But returning to the beginning of the reason for the approach and its relevance, with the current state of confusion, all the initial and principled references were lost. Everyone's voice is now in the "let's get out of the regime now, and wherever", and there is a lot of reason for that. People die like flies in hospitals, there is no medicine, they eat from garbage, wages are not enough to live on, with an economy and an industrial and commercial park completely destroyed.

Anyone who rides on a stage to say this would convince anyone to join in any madness that changes the state of things, that in the end it is nothing more than a consequence of something that originated long before 1999 when the country began to gasp as a result of the inconsistencies of the political class of that time, which now with the most washed face ever claimed to have the "solution" in its hands, as if they were not the primary culprits of the disaster. And tell me about those who were and managed the disaster itself at the beginning and who now call themselves "light opponents" of the regime by putting "the purple soup". No greater nerve possible. And they still tell us we're the ones who confuse the country! You have to remember....

And when you start working on solving the consequences of a disaster and not on the causes that originated it, it invariably ends up starting again. That happens even in the simplest things, such as when you have a leak that is eating a wall of the house and deals only with fixing the wall without resolving the leakage of water from the pipe that is the real cause . If you really want to solve the problem you have to break the wall first, look for the pipe where the water leak is, repair it and then rebuild the wall. Well, the Venezuelans are being sold every day to throw the wall only without repairing the pipe. It will work for a while but invariably we will have to throw the wall again, with all that implies, with the risk that it will fall on us.

But beyond that there is something that has remained on the road that few see and that is crucial to solving the serious political problem of the country and is the division that has been made of the Venezuelans. There were never in our country any differences and hatred between us, regardless of our condition. The differences between "rich and poor,""entrepreneurs and workers," even race differences, were artificially created deliberately as a means to accentuate a non-existent hatred among Venezuelans for imposing a strange philosophy and ideology to seize power. This is not going to be solved by “a change of government”. This will be exacerbated by that change, if it is done without reconciling those differences in the process.

When we talk about a solution, we cannot remain in the simple "change of government". The problem is deeper than that. We must consider the beginning of the change in what they have done to us in almost 20 years of strange "revolution", and which begins with an introspective look at who we are and why we have come this far. It is not enough to orchestrate "getting out of Maduro", it is necessary to get out of everything that originated it, laying the foundations for a new way of doing politics in Venezuela.

Why do you think that when we consider holding a popular consultation, we are not talking initially about leaving the regime but about reconciliation? Because there is no way to rebuild Venezuela without counting on absolutely all Venezuelans, not just a part of them, who really want to return to the scheme when we had no differences and acted as one country. That cannot be just rhetoric, it must be a reality, if we really want to be a united nation with common purposes, not one side imposing itself on the other. And what are those purposes? The ones we define together! For that we must come together in peace in a legitimate space built for that. That's a legitimate National Constituent Assembly.

Do you find it very innocent? I invite you to reflect on this: What would have happened if there had not been 16J? Maybe we were killing each other on the streets in the middle of a civil war. But a group of innocents from the National Constituent Alliance led by Enrique Colmenares Finol opposed this state of things that everyone wanted (street, street and more street) and proposed a different route to the MUD, convincing them - in spite of them, because that was not in their plans - to go to a peaceful consultation where all Venezuelans participated as a political solution to the problem. We threw them to them so that they batted it of home run and they decided to strike out ignoring the direct command of the people. Now 16J is a political reference for Venezuela and the world. Paradoxically, however, many opposition groups now use the civic action of 16J as a political flag to move their own aspirations, who would have thought?

Well, we propose once again that the people, this time in a decisive political manner, take a position as an alternative for resolving at the root of a problem that no political group is - and will not be - in a position to solve. Ideas do not have to come out of groups with money or relevant political positions, as long as they are pertinent and aimed at solving a problem that belongs to everyone, with no greater interest than that of the country. That's what we did with a group of concerned Venezuelans on Thursday, February 22,2018, with the Manifesto "Great Alliance for Popular Consultation, Unity and Reconciliation" (read it in Spanish at Perhaps, just maybe there is a distant possibility in Venezuela to do things well without the wall not falling on us....

Caracas, February 24,2018


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