By Juan Carlos Monedero / The Dawn.
Monedero, leader of Podemos, is a studious and old man familiar with the processes of change in Latin America, responds to the most common concerns about the process led by Maduro in Venezuela, including the Constituent Assembly.
“And he insisted on repeating the same thing:” This is not like a war … In a battle you have the enemy ahead … Here, the danger has no face or schedule. ” He refused to take sleeping pills or painkillers: “I do not want to be caught sleeping or drowsy. If they come for me, I’ll defend myself, I’ll scream, I’ll throw the furniture out the window … I’ll make a scandal … ”
Alejo Carpentier, The Spring Consecration
1. Nicolás Maduro is undoubtedly not Allende. Neither is Chavez. But those who hit Allende and Chavez are, and that is also undeniable, the same people who are now seeking a coup in Venezuela.
2. The enemies of your enemies are not your friends. You may not like Maduro without forgetting that no democrat can stand beside the coup plotters who invented death squads, death flights, paramilitaries, the murder of culture, Operation Condor, massacres of peasants and indigenous people, the theft of public resources. It is understandable that there are people who do not want to put on the side of Maduro, but it is convenient to think that on the side that supports the coup are, in Europe, corrupt politicians, mercenary journalists, nostalgic Francoist, unscrupulous entrepreneurs, arms dealers, those who defend the economic adjustments, those who celebrate neoliberalism. Not all those who criticize Maduro defend those political positions. I know honest people who cannot stand what is happening right now in Venezuela. But it is clear that on the side of those who are looking for a military coup in that country are those who always supported the military coups in Latin America or those who put their businesses above respect for democracy. The media that are preparing the civil war in Venezuela are the same media conglomerates that sold in Iraq there were weapons of mass destruction; that sell us that we have to bail out the banks with public money or those who sell us that the orgy of millionaires and the corrupt must be paid among all with cuts and privatizations. Knowing that trenches are shared with such people should call for reflection. Violence must always be the red line that should not be crossed. It does not make sense that Maduro’s hatred puts anyone decent next to the enemies of the people.
3. Maduro inherited a very difficult role – managing Venezuela at a time of oil prices falling and the return of the United States to Latin America after the terrible adventure
in the Middle East – and an impossible mission – to replace Chavez. The death of Chávez deprived Venezuela and Latin America of a leader capable of implementing policies that have taken 70 million people out of poverty on the continent. Chavez understood that democracy in a single country was impossible and put his resources, in a moment of boom thanks to the recovery of OPEC, to start the most luminous stage of the last decades in the continent: Lula in Brazil, Correa In Ecuador, Morales in Bolivia, Kirchner in Argentina, Lugo in Paraguay, Mujica in Uruguay, Funes in El Salvador, Petro in Bogotá and even Bachelet in Chile referenced this new stage. Education and health reached the popular sectors, literacy was completed, public housing, new infrastructures, public transport (after the privatization of the same or the sale and closure of the trains), the dependence of the IMF , the relationship with the United States was weakened, creating UNASUR and CELAC. There are also shadows, mainly linked to state weakness and corruption. But it would take a century for the cases of corruption in the progressive governments of Latin America to add, just to mention one matter, the cost of corruption that means the bailout. The propaganda of the owners of the propaganda ends up getting the oppressed to love the oppressor. Never since the demonization of Fidel Castro, any Latin American leader was such as vilified as Chavez. To distribute among the poor, we had to tell the rich, from America and also from Europe, that they had to earn a little less. They never tolerated him, which can be understood, especially in Spain, where, in the middle of the crisis, economic and political leaders of the Popular Party robbed hands full while telling people that they had to tighten their belts. Was Chávez that “Gorilla” to curb their business? Since he won the first elections in 1998, Chávez has had to face numerous attempts to overthrow him. Of course, with the invaluable help of the Spanish right, first with Aznar, then with Rajoy, and the already well-known participation of Felipe González as lobbyist of big capitals. (It is curious that Aznar himself who did business with Venezuela and with Libya then became an executor when he was ordered. Even Gadafi gifted a horse to Aznar. Pablo Casado was Aznar’s assistant in that operation. Then, right wing stuffs, celebrated his murder).
4. Chávez did not bequeath to Maduro the national balances and norms they built, which were political, economic and territorial. They were a personal construction in a country that left the poverty rates of 60% of the population when Chavez arrived at the government. There are changes that a generation needs. That is where the opposition tries to strangle Maduro, with unresolved problems such as imports, preferential dollars or difficulties to curb corruption that lead to shortages. Nevertheless, Maduro knew to reedit the “civic-military” pact, and that bothers the coup friends. Something evident, because the United States has always achieved the coups looking for supports in autochthonous military mercenaries or deserters. The army in Latin America is only understood in relation to the United States. They have been trained, whether in torture tactics or in “counterinsurgency struggle”, either in the use of weapons that sell them or in the respect due to American interests. In Venezuela, the same ones who formed the assassins of the Argentinian School of Mechanical Mechanics or who held the assassin Pinochet have it complicated (the assault by mercenaries dressed as soldiers to a barracks in Carabobo sought to build
the sensation of fissures in the Army, something that does not seem to exist today). Just as it has bought the military, the United States has always bought judges, journalists, teachers, deputies, senators, presidents, assassins, and anyone who needed to keep America as their “backyard.” The international media cartel has always covered his back. It is the existence of the United States as an empire that has built the Venezuelan army. The new officers have been formed in the sovereign and anti-imperialist democratic discourse. They are majority. There is also an official – the majority already retiring – that was formed in the old school and its reasons to defend the Venezuelan Constitution will be more particular. The deficiencies of the Venezuelan state also affect the army, especially in problem areas such as borders. But the barracks in Venezuela are with the constitutional president. And that’s why it’s even more pathetic to hear the democrat Felipe Gonzalez ask the Venezuelan military to strike a blow against Nicolás Maduro’s government.
5. To those difficulties of inheriting state balences and agreements in the region (Chavez’s friendship with the Kirchners, Lula, Evo, Correa, Lugo), it must be added that the struggle of Saudi Arabia with fracking and with Russia, sank oil prices, Venezuela’s main wealth. This unexpected fall in the price of oil put the government of Maduro in a complicated situation (it is the problem of “monocultures.”) It is enough to understand what would happen in Spain if 80% tourism was plunged for reasons beyond the control of any government. Would Rajoy get seven or eight million votes in a situation like this?). Maduro has had to rebuild the balance of power in a time of brutal economic crisis.
6. The opposition in Venezuela has been trying to carry out a coup from the same day that Chavez won. Venezuela was the leading figure of continental change. To end Venezuela is to open the spigot for the same to happen in places where neoliberalism has not yet returned. The oligarchies are disturbed by symbols that weaken their views. He passed with the II Republic in 1936, passed in Chile with Allende in 1973. To end Chavez’s Venezuela is to return to neoliberal hegemony and even to the dictatorial temptations of the seventies.
7. Venezuela also has the world’s largest oil reserves, water, biodiversity, the Amazon, gold, and coltan – perhaps the world’s largest coltan reserve. Those who have brought destruction to Syria, Iraq or Libya to steal the oil, want to do the same in Venezuela. They need to gain public opinion beforehand so that the robbery is not so obvious. They need to replicate in Venezuela the same strategy they built when they talked about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Or did not many honest people believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Today, that once prosperous country is a ruin. Whoever believed those lies of the PP, look at how is Mosul today. Congratulations to the naive. The lies follow every day. The opposition put a bomb to the step of police in Caracas and all the printed media published the photo as if the responsibility outside Maduro. A stolen helicopter threw grenades at the Supreme Court and the media silences it. They are terrorist acts. Of those that open covers and television news. Except when they happen in Venezuela. An illegal referendum in
Venezuela “presses the regime to the limit”. An illegal referendum in Catalonia is an act close to the crime of sedition.
8. The international media cartel has found a reef. It is a reissue of fear of communist Russia, dictatorial Cuba or international terrorism (they will never say that the ISIS is a Western construction funded mainly by US capital). Venezuela has become the new demon. This allows them to accuse opponents of “chavistas” and prevents them from talking about corruption, emptying of pensions, privatization of hospitals, schools and universities or bank bailouts. Mélenchon, Corbyn, Sanders, Podemos or any force of change in Latin America are disqualified with the accusation of chavistas, now that to accuse of communists or ETA supporters has little route. Mercenary journalism has been taken for years this strategy. No one has ever explained what genuinely Bolivarian politics is going on in the programs of the parties of change. But it does not matter. The important thing is to defame. And people of good will end up believing that there are weapons of mass destruction or that Venezuela is a dictatorship where, curiously, every day the opposition manifests itself (even attacking military installations), where the media freely criticizes Maduro (not as in Saudi Arabia, Morocco or the United States) or where the opposition governs in mayors and regions. It is the same tactic that built during the cold war the “communist danger”. That is why in Spain, with Venezuela, we have a new Autonomous Community of which we only have to tell us at the end of the television news the time that will be done in Caracas that day. Of every hundred times that it is said “Venezuela”, ninety and five only seek to distract, to hide or to lie.
9. Venezuela has a historical problem that has not resolved. Lacking mines during the colony, it was not a Viceroyalty, but a simple general captaincy. The nineteenth century was a permanent civil war, and in the twentieth century, when the state began to be built, they already had oil. The Venezuelan state has always been rentier, ineffective, pocketed by corruption and hostage to the economic needs of the United States agreed with the local oligarchies. The clash between the Assembly and the current head of state should have been legally settled. Signs of inefficiency have been evident for some time. The Venezuelan rent-seeking has not been surpassed. Venezuela redistributed the income of the oil among the humblest, but it has not surpassed that rentier political culture nor it has improved the functioning of its state. But let’s not fool ourselves. Brazil has a more consolidated legal structure and the Parliament and some judges have given a parlamentary coup against Dilma Roussef. Donald Trump can change to the Attorney General and nothing happens, but if Maduro, head of state also elected in elections, is accused of being a dictator. Some of the criticism of Maduro is tricky because they forget that Venezuela is a presidential system. That is why the Constitution allows the President to convene a Constituent Assembly. It will taste more or less, but article 348 of the current Constitution of Venezuela empowers the President in that task, just as in Spain the President of the Government can dissolve Parliament.
10. Zapatero and other former Presidents, the Pope, United Nations have been asking both parties in Venezuela to dialogue. The opposition gathered around seven million votes (although it is more complicated that they can reach that agreement around a candidate or candidate for the presidency of the country). Maduro, in a very complicated regional context, with strong economic constraints affecting the purchase of basic supplies, including medicines, has raised eight million votes (even if they are seven, according to the suspicious statements by the President of Smarmatic, who has just signed A million dollar contract in Colombia). Venezuela is clearly divided. The opposition, like other times, has opted for violence and then does not understand that Maduro adds so many millions of supports. If in Spain a group burned health centers, burned schools, fired at the Supreme Court, raided barracks, hired marriages to sow terror, blocked streets with traffic, and even burned people alive for thinking differently. Would anyone be surprised if the citizens voted in the opposite direction of those madmen?
11. Failing the violent way, the Venezuelan opposition has two possibilities: to continue with the insurrectional path, encouraged by the Popular Party, Donald Trump and the extreme international right wing, or try to win at the polls. The United States continues to press (in statements to a Uruguayan weekly, President Tabaré said he voted to illegally expel Venezuela from Mercosur for fear of reprisals from large countries). 57 countries of the United Nations have demanded respect for the sovereignty of Venezuela. As the United States does not achieve a majority to force Venezuela, it insists on inventing spaces (such as the Lima Declaration, without any legal force because they have not won a majority in the OAS). The world right wants to do away with Venezuela, even if it costs blood and fire to the Venezuelan population. That’s why some opponents, like Henry Ramos-Allup, have called for an end to violence. Venezuela has municipal and regional elections on the horizon. It is the scenario where the opposition should demonstrate that majority they claim. Venezuela has to convene these elections and is an excellent opportunity to measure the forces electorally. Because, otherwise, the shock that we are seeing will become entrenched and become a terrible gangrene. Who is interested in a civil war in Venezuela? Let us not deceive ourselves. Neither the PP nor Trump is interested in human rights. If this were the case, they would break up with Saudi Arabia, which is going to behead fifteen youths to demonstrate during the Arab Spring, or whip the women they lead; Or with Colombia, where 150 have been killed by paramilitaries in recent months; Or in Mexico, where a journalist is killed each month and mass graves appear with dozens of corpses. 75-year sentences are being sought in the United States against protesters against Trump’s policies. Venezuela has become Spain in the 18th Autonomous Community just because President Rajoy has had to appear as a witness for corruption in his party. It is more efficient to talk about Venezuela than about the corruption of the 800 charges of the PP imputed. There are naive people who believe them. What will they say now that the bulk of the opposition has agreed to participate in regional elections? The pact between the PSOE and We in Castilla-La Mancha has been presented by the La Mancha right as the beginning of the venezonalization of Spain. How much rubbish and how stupid. There are people who believe them. Meanwhile,
the PP is silent before, for example, the persecutions that the Moroccan monarchist dictatorship makes in Spain of the political dissidents, or imprisoned by order of the dictator Erdogan to a critical journalist with the Turkish dictatorship. Is anyone going to tell us that these governments are interested in human rights?
Conclusion: there is no need to take communion, much less with Maduro and his way of doing things, not to accept the coup that is wanted to build in Venezuela. We are talking about not making the same mistakes again, believing the lies that the media construct. Venezuela has to solve its problems by talking. And clearly he has problems. But two opposing halves are not going anywhere monologue. Although, on the one hand, it supports the most powerful neoliberal countries. Neither the PP nor the right want dialogue. They want Maduro to surrender. And does anyone believe that the eight million voters of the Constituent Assembly were going to sit idly by? The new government would repress them and even murder them. The media would say that Venezuelan democracy would be defending itself against the enemies of democracy. And there would be naive people who would believe them. From the rest of the world, in the name of democracy, two things are enough: to demand and encourage dialogue in Venezuela, and to understand that it would be good not to allow PP or international rights, starting with Donald Trump, to reissue one of his miseries More horrible than sowing pain in other places to hide the pain they build in our own countries.