Defeating the blackmail

Our country is exhausted from so much chaos and destruction. The economic and social crisis is unsustainable to the point  of despair. A political way out if this crisis seems to be blocked by the interest of the extremists, who place their own interests above those of the country.

I think we all agree that the situation in Venezuela cannot go on like this, that something must be done, that Maduro must leave and that Guaidó is not the option.

On the side of madurism, we should add to their  manifest incapacity to govern, the destruction of the work and legacy of President Chávez, his deep contempt for the problems of the people and the clumsy and erratic manner in which they have led our country to the brink of war and hopelessness. 

They have destroyed the economy, pulverized our political and social conquests, and led the people into the abyss of misery. Maduro has resorted to violence and crime in its actions. He pursues, imprisons, tortures and kills to impose his will. He is  cowardly and cruel. He does what he wants: destroys PDVSA, hands over the oil, the gas, the Mining Arc, the State enterprises, the Esequibo, the sovereignty; but nothing happens. 

On Guaidó’s side, he  went from being a media product, an invention of foreign laboratories, false even in the gait, which had created expectations of change in broad sectors of the opposition, to a failure. He has been falling apart in his inability to drive anything, like a puppet going from one side to the other. He  attempts to lead coups d’état from a highway, he embraces shady characters from the most violent and cruel group of Colombian narco-paramilitaries and openly calls for an intervention of foreign troops in our country. He can get away with his illegal activities, thanks to the the absence of the rule of law and the weakness and inconsistency of the government.

With neither of these characters, or rather, with neither of these two sectors, the country is going anywhere. On the contrary, as long as we remain trapped in the hands of these irresponsibles, we will move further and further away from the possibility of recovering the country. It is urgent to do something, to get out of the blackmail that has been installed and leave fear behind.

The main problem in our country is that people’s  sovereignty has been hijacked by the elites, be they madurists or the traditional ones, with their dangerous far-right tendencies.  A political dynamic has been imposed where these factors, represented by Maduro and Guaidó, pass over the Constitution and the laws, have demolished the institutions that conform the  powers of the State and let dysfunctionality rule.

This dynamic, absent of ideas, characterized by violence, intolerance and the absence of values or ethics, has managed to paralyze the country and demobilize the people, who are trying to get out of the hell that they have turned the country into, as best they can. Politics has been buried; that is, its exercise as the art of conflict resolution, argumentative debate and a mechanism to achieve altruistic national objectives.

In these 6 long years of misgovernment,our society, throughout all of its political spectrum, has been blackmailed based on the permanent polarization and the fear, fueled by a intolerant speech that spreads like fire fed with the gunpowder of hatred, incitement to revenge. The annihilation of the opposite is the scenario. Reason has ceded its spaces to the most basic instincts and subaltern  interests. Twitter replaces ideas and debate. A sort of Inquisition 2.0, that incites hatred, the disqualification of ideas or people and calls to violence, permeates from social media into our society. 

Madurism has taken it upon itself to annihilate Chavism. To pursue any dissident, revolutionary, chavista thought that is not willing to subordinate itself to its designs. It has destroyed the constitutional principle of Participative and Protagonist Democracy, dismantled the spaces and territories of political-social participation, popular power, the so called Social Missions and Large Missions. Not only has it destroyed the economy, but it has also taken charge of removing any vestige of conscience, efficiency, commitment and exercise of sovereignty in the companies and institutions of the State, of the public sector. 

Worst of all: it has demolished the spirituality of the people: solidarity, altruism, the collective interest. In our society now reigns the “every man for himself”; the smuggler and ilegal trader, the individualist, the corrupt, the looting of the Nation. Everything seems corrupted: the Armed Forces, the psuv, the State enterprises, the workers. The former Bolivarians, or revolutionaries, are now businessmen of all kinds: of gold, oil, coltan, the importing sector, traffickers in the misery of the homeland.

Maduro, shamelessly abusing his investiture and Chávez’s name, he has become a dictator. An intolerant, abusive, law-violating  person. Able to send anyone to prison, to persecute and destroy anyone’s life because he “feels like it”, because he does not even tolerate the presence of his opponent, because he is insecure, because he does not accept criticism, because he has no reason.

This personal attitude has become a way of acting for the whole government, extended to all levels. His subordinates, chosen by him and placed in key government and state positions, act in the same way. They have wiped out Chávez’s government, and his teams: from PDVSA, through the CVG, to the last ministry and agency of the public administration.

Maduro is accompanied by an entourage of sycophants, who make sure that nobody says anything again or about the ”boss”, nor makes any criticism; much less that he thinks in opposition to “what maduro says”. It is sad to see, one or another former Chávez minister, or former commanders or former political and popular leaders, behind the cantinfleric trail of maduro and his entourage, just clapping like seals and celebrating their sometimes cruel jokes against their own people. 

What is serious about this is that they have installed fear not only in the government, in the Bolivarian Armed Force, in the National Constituent Assembly, the psuv and all the structures of the State, but in the very heart of the popular movement, the political leaders, the intellectuals, the workers and the social leaders. With violence and repression they have extirpated the democratic and participative character of the Bolivarian movement, of Chavismo, once rebellious and contentious, turning it into a weak and unimportant mass. Writers, journalists, intellectuals and conductors of opinion programs, once voices of revolution, have become eunuchs of ideas or instigators of fascism. 

The madurism gangsters, headed by their prosecutor and security agencies, watch and act, in any state enterprise or government instance, to persecute and suppress any chavista who raises his voice against this situation: they accuse them, they persecute them, they defame them, they exiled them, they put them in prison and of course, without  an audience or right to a legal defense, they kidnap them, they fire them from the companies where they work, they persecute their relatives, they raid and even invade their private homes, they take away all from them.

There are many examples of this action: my own case, accused, persecuted, vilified, permanently defamed, accused without evidence and, much less, without the possibility of defending myself against the hegemony of absolute power that vocifers in national television,  as often as it wishes; and, above all, when it wants to distract attention from some serious matter or from one of its new “pranks”. I have been exiled, for warning and denouncing what was happening with the economy and PDVSA.

There are also the cases of Major General and former Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, kidnapped for more than 18 months; former Minister General Raúl Isaías Baduel, buried alive; the more than one hundred PDVSA workers kidnapped without trial or right to defense; the more than 150 officers of the Bolivarian Armed Force kidnapped in government prisons; among so many other victims, whose humiliations we have denounced before the Office of the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet; and which she has courageously reflected in the update of her report on Venezuela. 

In order for his illegal decisions reach greater impact, Maduro must also humiliate his victims, as we saw with the arrests of former minister Nelson Martínez, who later died in custody; or of former minister Eulogio Del Pino; or of the members of CITGO’s Board of Directors, arrests made with fascist hullabaloo. 

They have also resorted to cruel treatment, physical and psychological torture, and political assassination. The detention centres have nothing to envy from the worst dictatorships: The “Tumba” (the “Tomb”, it’s located underground of the SEBIN headquarter)  and the “Helicoide” ( “Helicoid” it’s the name of building from the 50s became a headquarter of SEBIN and detention center), where mistreatment, violence, punishments, rampage, sexual abuse, are constant.  

On the opposition side, the situation is not different. This sector of the population is hostage to a whole fauna of interests, personal ambitions and groups that lead them from failure to failure. Although here, we find a definite and distorting component: foreign interference. The factors of the extreme right wing, represented by the party Voluntad Popular  and Guaidó, are led by the opposition because they have the blessing, resources and political support from the highest political levels in Florida, Washington and Bogotá. 

The opposition got drunk with victory after the 2015 National Assembly elections. From day one, an obscure character left  from the worst of the IV Republic (the political period before president Chavez tenure), assumed the presidency of the National Assembly  with the declared purpose of overthrowing the government. They began their administration by , turning the Assembly into an inquisitorial tribunal. They showed what would happen in the country if they came to power. They brought  no ideas or strategic thinking. This same character, while offending President Chávez and removing his portrait from the parliamentary seat, simultaneously negotiated and did business with Maduro in secret. An ambitious, corrupt and opportunistic opposition became the Trojan horse of madurism. They were finished  by their opportunism, lack of leadership, honest and clear proposals, and, above all, by personal ambitions.

The years 2014, 2016 and 2017 were marked by irresponsible and criminal violence. They called on their followers  to set the country on fire. The leadership was taken over by the extreme right wing. They set their followers on the ground, started a violently protest that brought many dead, all though  they knew they would surely be defeated and worn out by the government. The leaders who came out inciting violence, boasting instructions, under a lot of media coverage, became famous; then they disappeared. More than 130 Venezuelans died as a result of the  violence incited by these irresponsibles. They used the pain and tragedy of their own to negotiate a deal with Maduro.

From then on, they were defeated. Then came the election for the  Constituent National Assembly of 2017, where again the same extremist factors continued to impose their political agenda, this time by  not participating in the electoral process, nor in the presidential elections. At the moment when the government is weaker in the bosom of the people, with the chavismo demobilized, external factors decided not to take advantage of that tactical possibility that was opened up as a result of the very weakness of madurism. 

The factors of the extreme right wing exert control over the rest of the opposition, not allowing anyone other than them to raise their heads. The case of Henri Falcón in the last presidential elections is the best demonstration. It was the extremist opposition that was mainly responsible for Falcon’s defeat, its main obstacle. They preferred to block the electoral option, they opted for the promise that “others”(foreign intervention) would solve our problems. 

Then, out of nowhere, in a political laboratory operation, a character absolutely unknown to everyone suddenly appeared: Guaidó. Devoid of any known political  trajectory of any kind, imposed by external factors: Guaidó surprised everyone in the opposition with his self-proclamation.

From there on, this character insists that “we are doing well”, as he jumps  from one political adventure to the other, as his selfies with Colombian paramilitaries of “Los Rastrojos”, murderers and drug traffickers fugitive Colombian justice, reveal who really  provided him with logistics and support for the political provocation operation staged on January 22 at the border. By the way, this gentleman’s excuses for those pictures are absolutely disrespectful towards our people. That “he doesn’t know who he’s taking pictures with”, could be valid for a demonstration or a rally, but, in the middle of the jungle when crossing the border through illegal paths with armed men clearly in control of that area which no one can transit without strict paramilitary authorization, Please! it’s pathetic. Guaido’s  sponsors must be very concerned.

The extreme right wing is determined to take over power in any way: with Guaidó, through a coup d’état,  a foreign invasion, a war with Colombia, making deals with paramilitaries, drug traffickers, mercenaries, with whomever and however. Not only have they failed, but in their imposition of fake leadership, their intolerance and their tremendous political errors, they have become maduro’s main ally. Maduro  is still there, largely because of the errors of the extreme right wing.

On the other hand, Maduro is determined to do whatever it takes to stay in power: he negotiates, surrenders the homeland, cedes territory and uses all his power, his violence, to keep the people oppressed. He knows that he has had a thunderous failure in leading the country, that he is isolated, that he cannot set foot outside the territory controlled by him, that he is not even capable of going to the UN General Assembly, the maximum event of international politics. Instead, he sends two bumper cars” to stage up before the world the tragicomedy that is his government.  The “madurism” is afraid, they know they have nothing to show, no achievement, no epic.

Venezuela is today, a country impoverished like never before; ruined. Our people, the sons of Simoón Bolívar, the Liberator, are exhausted, manipulated by two sides of the same coin, fed up with the political class that has become entrenched in the country, leaving as it can and as never before the Homeland.

The venezuelan citizens must take control of their own political destiny, beyond the false debates on Twitter, the hatred and polarization. The people who go by subway  or used the so called perreras (dog cages) for transportation, resigned, without hope, who receive  the 2 dollars a month’s salary, the worker who had his rights taken away, the neighbor of the “barrios” (the “favelas” or very poor neighborhoods surrounding the big cities)   repressed by the FAES (special forces accused to thousands of extrajudicial executions), the peasant expelled from his land, murdered by the new lords of the countryside, the professional frustrated in his aspirations of work and future, the young man who suffers abroad the aggressions of xenophobia, the  professional who has left everything and must start again, the patriot army officer indignant because they have been used to sustain a tyranny, all must regain consciousness of the power they have: Sovereignty resides precisely in the people, in each one of us. 

The people must get rid of themselves, shake off the blackmail that oppresses them, from two sectors that offer nothing to the country, but poverty, chaos, violence, intolerance, destabilization, interference and even war. You have to raise your face, raise your voice: we are the majority! the reason assists us. We must regain the possibility of a decent future for our children and ourselves. Why leave our country in the hands of this incapable and violent minority? Why should we abandon everything and leave our homeland and our affections behind? On account of what, are they still destroying our beautiful homeland?

We must insist again and again, we will succeed, we will be able to recover our country, we have everything, we know how. Beyond the differences and positions, the Venezuelans, the patriots, who are hurt by this Homeland, we must rid ourselves of this cancer that consumes our land, and express our opinions loudly, reorganize society, rescue its sense of belonging, its love for the homeland, the possible future.

It is necessary to organize the people, included everybody, to gather all the voices and all the political, social, military and popular movements. It’s time for politics, for big ideas. We have proposed a Patriotic Board of Government capable of leading the country to the re-establishment of the Constitution, of the rule of law , of normal way of living.

Come with us, contact us, join us, let’s discuss anything, let’s move ideas, hearts, but let’s move toward the recovery of our beloved country. Nobody’s gonna do it for us. The power lies in you, in all of us together.

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