Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
May 9, 2017
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) In the unevenly matched confrontation of the Castroist dictatorship with the Venezuelan people, the dictatorship has already been defeated morally and politically, but it hangs on through the use of its internal force and international complicity of allied governments who are subservient to the regime in Havana. The strategy they apply to keep Nicolas Maduro in power is based on “winning time, dividing the opposition and managing fear” which is not a novelty and has been generally successful for them. Facing such tremendous criminal expertise, at this crucial time in the Venezuelan people’s struggle for freedom and democracy, we must “persist” in the legitimate protest and demand the international repudiation against the Venezuelan dictatorship.
To persist is “to take and maintain a stand obstinately” and “for an indefinitely long time”. This is why the worse enemy of the Castroist system in Venezuela is the popular demand for it to leave the government, the courage of the entire Venezuelan people turning out to the streets. It is no longer about concessions, dialogue, or elections, the voice of the people cry out “out, Maduro, out”. The Venezuelan crisis is at the crossroads in which; either the dictatorship is finished with the departure of the Castroist system, or it gets consolidated into the region’s second Cuba.
Venezuelans have been reiterative and have exerted increasing pressure to return to a system with guarantees and the full exercise of civil rights until they got to the current situation in which the people, throughout the country, are confronted on the streets against a government barricaded in its crisis, its corruption, its crimes, in narcotics trafficking, in the violation of human rights, in its slogans and doctrine against the North American imperialism, and in the total control of power as a guarantee for their impunity.
Venezuela is now a country that has been paralyzed by legitimate protest, with inferior levels of acceptance of their government that are below 10%, with a humanitarian crisis that produces death due to the lack of food and medicine, with a broken economy, with a multimillion dollar external debt veiled in secrecy, with hyper corruption, with a regime established as a “narco-state”, with a judicial system that is part of the dictatorial apparatus, with an electoral branch that is the dictatorship itself, with paramilitary irregular armed groups organized and directed by the government, with a servile military hierarchy, with political prisoners, with almost a million forced emigres and thousands of political exiles.
The facts show that Nicolas Maduro and his dictatorship are a government of intervention, not a government of Venezuela because it does not place the vital interests of the Venezuelan people ahead of its own, they are Castroist above the interests of the citizenry and of the nation. Maduro and his goons, with the servile military hierarchy, with the Supreme Justice Tribunal and the judicial system, with the National Electoral Council, with the Bolivarian guard corps, with the paramilitary groups, with the thugs known in Spanish as “colectivos”, with their militia, with its controlled press, are all “traitors of the homeland” and in flagrante, red handed criminals.
The latest dictatorial gimmick to win time consists of their effort to deceive the world making it believe that they will resolve their problems through democracy with the convening of a “constituent assembly”. A cock and bull story aimed only at deepening and legalizing the Cuban styled open dictatorship in Venezuela, establishing a second Cuba. The logic is simple because the state institutionalized crime has worked for over 58 years in Cuba and there is no reason why they would not apply it in Venezuela, moreover at a time when the Castroist system now exerts Latin America’s political leadership and has allies such as Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China, all declared or potential enemies of the United States.
There is no doubt that Venezuelan people persist and will persist until they are free, but in order to avoid the high cost they are already paying to recover democracy from becoming more painful, the free world, the democracies of the Americas and of the world are compelled -beside for their own interests and security- to act effectively, setting aside the lean statements “of concern” or expressions of “solidarity” and even of “hope” that they have been proclaiming in a condoning way to the henchmen of Venezuela.
Democratic governments of the world have the obligation to support the respect for basic human rights, peace and international security and in the case of the Venezuelan people that is to repudiate Venezuela’s Castroist dictatorship. They should follow Peru’s example and proceed to withdraw their ambassadors accredited before the government of Nicolas Maduro because it is neither legitimate, nor legal. The courage and persistence of Venezuelans have taken us to the crossroads in which the international community must take a stand either in favor of freedom and democracy, or to support the dictatorship and dishonor. There is NOTHING possible in between.
How can the leaders of democracies from the region and from the world -without fear of being accomplices or victims- maintain diplomatic relations with a government that; violates the mandates of the United Nations’ Charter because it is a threat to peace and international security, does not comply with any of the basic elements of the Interamerican Democratic Charter as proved by two reports from the OAS’ General Secretary, that openly violates human rights of its citizens, that has no effective control of its territory, that is a narco-state, that has eliminated freedom of the press, that has political prisoners institutionalizing kidnappings and judicial persecutions, that each and every day it kills its citizens? How can they?
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Sunday May 7th, 2017.