Spanish – Dear Juan,
The first thing I read today when I woke up was your interview with journalist Javier Lafuente. In my opinion, it is the best interview you have ever had. The journalist’s work was on a par with the situation, and that is something to celebrate because, in the past, you have chosen to give interviews only to those who allow you to present the points you have prepared and are satisfied with your answers. Lafuente is a valuable exception.
Although the questions were correct, the answers triggered several red flags for me, which I will explain below. We will go in order.
When Lafuente asked you if 2019 had turned out to be a failure, you answered:
“Well, what’s the measure? What’s the variable? If Maduro is in Miraflores, it is an absurd variable to judge 2019 when we came from expectations of minus ten. If that is the variable, it would be not only unfair to me, but also to Venezuelan society, which has resisted the attacks, which maintained a mobilization, made the crisis visible…
I must say, dear Juan, that the measure of failure in 2019 is Maduro’s permanence in Miraflores. I don’t care if you think it is unfair of me to see it that way. That’s how I see it. Because contrary to what you have said on other occasions, this is a struggle for power.
When I hear you say that, “the regime has wanted to show that this is a struggle for power, and that is not so. This is a struggle to live with dignity,” a burst of rage runs through my body wanting to fire anyone who convinces you to say such nonsense immediately.
Of course, this is a power struggle! Of course, there was a mobilization! But I fear that it was precisely that mediocre and political way of thinking that made 2019 a black hole from which nothing beneficial came out for those who remain inside Venezuela.
When the journalist asked you about the mistakes you made, you said that at times it seemed that those in “the inner circle of dictatorship,” were “ready for a negotiated solution as in the case of the Norwegian mediation.”
It seems a lie that it was so easy for the regime to make you think that they really wanted to negotiate. Inexperience, naivety, clumsiness, or complicity: what was it that was depriving you there?
Perhaps the most interesting moment is when Lafuente asked you if a military intervention would make sense. This was your answer:
“I don’t think so. I don’t see a formal military intervention. I believe there is a different page. We have the possibility of choosing a new National Electoral Council, which would open the doors to genuinely free elections. I don’t think that putting on the table the option of an intervention, which is the simile of war, is positive, nor is it feasible. What we have to look for are tools to displace the dictatorship.
I am disheartened to read this statement because such a pronouncement makes the regime even more comfortable in making long-term plans. You displaced the armed option in search of electoral “alternatives.” Grave mistake.
Regarding Maria Corina Machado, you say that she is “very important, with an excellent voice at an international level, who opts more for an option of strength. The challenge is going to be how we align all these groups.”
It is clear that your position and Machado’s differ, and that you would prefer her to align herself with the groups that support the route you propose (which has not borne fruit).
You say you want a united opposition – even with “a section of Chavismo” because “the perception of division can be destructive.”
I have already expressed my opinion in a previous column that it is precisely unity that has damaged this process because the interests protected within the Frente Amplio are incompatible with the struggle to liberate the country.
Later on, you refer to your lack of a media apparatus to invest in propaganda. Still, you do not mention that your party placed an EVTV director as president of the Legitimate Supreme Court of Justice and that your press chief, Alberto Federico Ravell, presides over the website La Patilla. Your propaganda apparatus has consolidated over the months.
When Lafuente asked you if, after the failure of the cessation of usurpation and the transitional government, it is time to think about free elections, you replied without hesitation that “we have been thinking about it since 5th January this year.”
Allow me to quote verbatim from this conversation:
- Free elections require an independent arbiter, the ability to choose our candidates, not a dictatorship through disqualification or persecution.
- Do you see the possibility of an election without meeting the other two variables?
- You have to have free elections. Without a new National Electoral Council, there is no free choice. The big dilemma is whether it is possible to have the re-institutionalization and the guarantee of a presidential election with Maduro in Miraflores? This is an ongoing debate.
- What do you think?
- I don’t think so today. That can change from 5th January, with a National Electoral Council elected by Parliament, a fully functioning Parliament. Today, with Maduro in office, the elections would not really be free.
- But if we change the National Electoral Council…
- In the realm of assumptions and speculation, if we have a new CNE, all the qualified candidates, the legalized parties, an impartial Supreme Court of Justice, well, that’s already a transition in itself.
We understand then that the intention of appointing the new rectors of the CNE means for you to remove the main obstacle to the existence of free elections. That, Juan, is a fallacy.
Believing that a new National Electoral Council while Maduro is still in power and a catalog of “guarantees” by the regime is “already a transition in itself” is a gruesome mistake that will only lead to another fraud.
You say, “I don’t take advice from just one, or two, or three persons. I don’t only consult Leopoldo but also other opposition leaders and important international allies.”
Of course, the leaders you consult are within the G4, and I dare say that your international allies have lost confidence in the route, starting with Colombia and Chile, who were surprised by your decision to go to Norway for dialogue with the regime.
Every time the United States demonstrates doubts, with a convenient call, you get an official to come out and reiterate support that does not go beyond sanctions.
That, Juan, is not support. It is a mere commitment. Those who bet on you can’t step aside, though I do not doubt they will.
One of the most regrettable aspects revealed in this interview was your lack of self-criticism in asserting that on 23rd February, there was only a “communication error. There was a mistake in communicating that perception that something was lost.
Is it possible that I am the one who has to explain to you in December that 23rd February was your first failure of the year? If you really cannot accept it, now I understand a little better why this process collapsed so quickly.
I see it difficult, dear Juan, to make amends for so much nonsense. My only reflection is this: there is no possible option to reach the freedom that can be led by Leopoldo Lopez. Open your eyes: you have been used and turned into a puppet who will end up farther and farther away from that place called “glory,” which is reserved for the few.