“At all costs we must oppose the civil war” (Simón Bolívar, letter to General Bartolomé Salom, December 1828).
By Elias Jaua Milano – March 28, 2020
Humanity has been surprised; those infected and killed by COVID-19 are growing exponentially on all continents according to the records of the World Health Organization (WHO); more than 40% of the world’s population is in quarantine according to estimates by news agencies; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declares the recession of the world economy, as a consequence of the fall in production and consumption generated by the almost total paralysis of labor activities, especially in countries with high industrial development. An economic recovery is not expected until the middle of 2021.
For Venezuela, with an economy already negatively impacted by internal political conflict and systematic foreign aggression, through illegal economic sanctions and increasing plans to promote armed conflict, the situation that has generated the pandemic could be potentially serious, especially in the economic and social sphere.
Such a dangerous context for the life of the Republic calls for the conscience of all democratic political leaders to agree on a “Taima”. Let us remember that the word taima is a Venezuelan word that expresses the need to temporarily cease the practice of a sport or recreational game, to continue it immediately once the emergency is over.
The Venezuelan state needs to concentrate all its efforts on the containment of the virus; on the hospital care of those infected and on alleviating the economic and social effects generated by the necessary social quarantine. To distract it from defending stability and peace in the face of the plans underway to perpetrate an armed aggression against the institutions is, at the very least, indolence towards the people, who today more than ever need the care of competent authorities.
Commander Chávez always told me, words more, words less, “Elias, you have to speak your mind to favor the people, even if it goes against the flow, there will always be someone to listen.”
Thinking about how that time could be that political factors should take, while the health emergency is overcome, hearing the statements of President Nicolas Maduro on the one hand and on the other hand that of a former presidential candidate of the opposition (Capriles Radonski) about the need for an agreement in the situation caused by the pandemic and reading our Constitution, I dare to make the following statement, of my own exclusive responsibility.
While all parts of the chaotic National Assembly are in forced recess, as a result of the social quarantine, the Delegate Commission provided for in Article 195 of the Constitution could be installed, subject to a political agreement that would allow this Commission this time to be made up of deputies from each of the political parties, movements or factors that make up the current legislative body. Once installed, the Delegate Commission would develop a consensus agenda in a determined time. Some points that this agenda could contain are the following:
- To agree on a State policy, in the health, economic and social fields, to overcome the consequences of the pandemic on our people.
- Develop joint actions to achieve the release of the resources frozen in financial institutions abroad, in order to allocate them to a program to strengthen the health system and the recovery of the country’s productive apparatus.
- Develop a wage policy that restores the purchasing power of the workers, especially in the field of health and education
- To design, together with the Executive, a planting plan for the next cycle starting at the end of April and to manage at the international level the inputs needed to implement it, in order to guarantee the supply of essential items for the last quarter of this year.
- Promote a national debate to agree on a sovereign policy for the recovery of oil production, within the framework of the provisions of the Constitution.
- Design, together with the Executive, a policy for the recovery of prioritized sectors such as electricity, steel, petrochemicals, agro-industry and construction.
- Facilitation of the necessary political agreements regarding the planned parliamentary elections, which will allow progress, from the emergency, towards a sovereign, democratic and peaceful administration of the political conflict, always within the framework of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Take something off, add something more on it, fill in the constitutional gaps. That is now up to those who have to negotiate and decide. The important thing is that an historic agreement is forged from this situation to save the Republic from the imposition of a de facto government, after a foreign military intervention; from the deployment of Colombian narco-paramilitary violence in our Homeland; from a fratricidal war or the combination of all these scourges at the same time, in the midst of a pandemic that so far is out of control worldwide.
It is our responsibility before history as political leaders, to fulfill the obstinate determination of our Liberator, in his last years of life, to avoid a new civil war for Venezuela. Even a boy and a girl know when it is time to stop, and then continue the game in better conditions.
This proposal is not born from any personal fear, I make it clear to the bullies on twitter, I have always assumed my responsibilities as a revolutionary and I will do so in any circumstance, here where I am, on my homeland. I am concerned that the pain of the suffering people will be aggravated; I care about the existence of Venezuela as an independent and democratic Republic. The Homeland comes first!
Translated by JRE/EF