All conditions appeared to be given for the quick removal of Venezuela’s dictatorship when, on 23 January of 2019, the president of the National Assembly was sworn-in as “Venezuela’s Interim President” and received international recognition. Immediately thereafter, however, a play on power by all the Assembly’s political parties was seen and on 5 February of 2019 they approved the “Statute governing the transition towards democracy . . .” with which they took away all power from the Interim President, established an Assembly system, and imposed an erroneous agenda that prevents the formation of a government prior to the end of the usurpation.
The Statute for the transition towards democracy in its Article 2 decrees “For purposes of the present Statute, by transition it is understood to be the agenda for the democratization and re-institutionalization that includes the following phases; liberation from the autocratic regime that oppresses Venezuela, conformation of a Provisional Government of national unity, and the holding of free elections”. They established the “liberation” or the end of the usurpation as a phase prior to the conformation of a government, so they annulled the Interim President and the possibility to conform a government until the oppressor regime left. Extraordinarily advantageous for Maduro, they relinquished the initiative.
On 24 March of 2019 I wrote an article which was titled “FREE GUAIDO” that started by stating: “Juan Guaido is imprisoned, not physically as yet, of the Castrochavist dictatorship operated by Nicolas Maduro, Diosdado Cabello, and Vladimir Padrino. Worse yet, Guaido is a prisoner of the greatest act of pettiness the so-called political class can commit against a nation that suffers a humanitarian crisis. Guaido is a prisoner of the “Statute for the transition towards democracy” of the “opposition’s majority” at Venezuela’s National Assembly for whom he is not the Republic’s President . . .”
In the one year and seven months that Venezuela has had a Legitimate President, international pressure against the usurper dictatorship has increased. Nicolas Maduro and his criminal group are legally charged and internationally wanted in conformance with the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, a bounty of $15 million dollars has been set for their capture, nearly 20 countries which include Great Britain, Spain, Canada, Mexico, United States, Colombia, Brazil and others, conduct antinarcotics international operations in the Caribbean because Venezuela is the narco-center of Castrochavism; the usurper regime has been unmasked, their front men are being caught and more. There is no military action because Venezuela’s legitimate President does not have a government and has not asked for the conformation of a Multinational Force.
As the pace of international measures increased, the failure of Venezuela’s internal policies concentrated at the National Assembly has become clear, signaling Guaido’s failure, increasing the peoples’ unhappiness who, with the Coronavirus pandemic, suffer extreme humanitarian crisis conditions. Guaido is a prisoner of the G4, and is a prisoner of his own party where the facts reveal that his boss Leopoldo Lopez is in charge. With Guaido, who never established a Transitional Government to end the usurpation, Venezuela’s people are prisoners, and the initiative belongs to the dictatorship who now take Venezuela to another crime they call “elections”.
This is not about neither defending nor condemning Guaido who has lost popular support and has diminished international trust, it is simply about the only thing there is, he is Venezuela’s recognized Legitimate President, and the opportunity to establish a government centers on him.
Today, it is URGENT for the G4 Assembly to abolish its “Statute for the Transition”, give up sectarian politics and the dolling out of power spaces, to incorporate all political parties and groups who fight for freedom, so that the President can organize a government of national unity with a cabinet of ministers that is inclusive, operational, and effective to restore internal and international trust, to put a halt and end the Castrochavist usurpation.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.