Photo: Google News, retrieved.

No matter the outcome, there will be bitter pills to swallow.

This is a tale with a more than positive narrative (the ousting of a totalitarian regime), with international support, Venezuela Aid Live included, and all. But, in reality, this is a moment in history where the outcome, regardless of which it might be, will test us beyond the breaking point.

There are three major plotlines possible now:

  1. The current status quo is extended long enough for economic sanctions to devastate our daily life. A certainty, if things don’t end soon;
  2. Maduro and company aren’t ousted, and they unleash a massive reprisal. Not just against politicians, but on all of us;
  3. We win, but we have to take on board every single figure from chavismo willing to cooperate, and I do mean every single one.

The implications of point A have been well covered, everybody beginning to grasp the true cost of “being in favor of sanctions.” It’s no picnic, nor is it a slogan. It’s a cold, hard blockade, the sort that will starve an already famished nation, all for our hunger for freedom. Noble, but costly to say the least.

We all kinda know what amnesty is, but we definitely aren’t mentally prepared to actually see it.

Point B is nothing but the bloody aftermath of a chavista win. It’s so bad that nobody dares imagine what it’ll look like, particularly for every appointee of the new government, their teams, and even us, their supporters. FAES doesn’t have a thing against the poor, it has a thing against anybody willing to act out. And we’re on their list (yes, there’s a list).

But Point C is a curious one. We all kinda know what amnesty is, but we definitely aren’t mentally prepared to actually see it.

If the prospect of being on the same team as Luisa Ortega Díaz sends shivers down your spine, and the likelihood of Juan Barreto joining ranks angers you, what about soldiers jumping ship and going from “the officer who gassed and shot me” to “my big ally,” overnight? Is the opposition political base really up for something of the sort?

Politically, the amnesty is a bargaining chip by the parliamentary camp, which trades away well deserved punishment for political support that maybe won’t add much to our cause, but will definitely subtract from theirs, and the end game demands their stance to be as wobbly as can be.

On paper, it’s reasonable, but once the defection waves roll in, Ortega Díaz will seem pretty tame compared to some figures coming, and that’s why the amnesty will be the trickiest of things to follow up on. It’s convincing people that yesterday’s enemy can be today’s friend based on the sole incentive that they won’t be prosecuted and convicted.

Freedom will come, just not cheaply. It will test us far more than we imagine, and keeping an open mind is more than advised. Our salvation needs a touch of red.

It’s hard to imagine everybody going along with the plan, when they realize how many chavista figures will have a clean slate. Maybe not Padrino López, Maduro’s Defense Minister and one of the louder voices supporting him, but how about people in the Constituent Assembly? Would we welcome Pedro Carreño, Iris Varela, Tarek William Saab, second only to Diosdado Cabello and Maduro in chavismo propaganda annoyance?

In the end, support from these figures is more than necessary. It feels like a point not everyone’s willing to accept so, the next time you hear some representative in Parliament decry the need of “chavistas in the transitional government” understand that they’re not speaking to you, they’re sending a clear and blunt message to potential allies across the political spectrum.

We need that support if we want madurismo to go away, period. There’s no wiggle room, nor is there an easier way out. The time to be practical is now, ideology (and even true justice) will have to wait.

Freedom will come, just not cheaply. It will test us far more than we imagine, and keeping an open mind is more than advised. Our salvation needs a touch of red.

Once the dust settles, we’ll sort everything out. But in the meantime, let’s just make it happen.

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