Photo: Reuters retrieved
Vamos bien, but maybe we’re going too slow.
It feels like we’re stuck and we’re getting a bit desperate, so let’s try to break the cycle by looking at facts:
It’s April 29th. Caretaker President, Juan Guaidó, swore his oath of office 96 days ago. Chavismo has been in power for 20 years, that’s 7,300 days that can’t be undone in 96 with not even a quarter of the power and resources Chávez and Maduro had for two decades. In 96 days, we’ve gone from feeling extremely hopeful to utterly defeated because we’re hungry, tired and in the dark. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, at home and abroad. The blackouts really took a toll on the most optimistic, intensifying the feeling of defeat because it made chavismo seem invincible again. But seeming invincible doesn’t mean they can’t actually be defeated.
Guaidó never promised it’d be easy, or quick (he was actually specific about the pains of this path). Maybe it was our fault for thinking we’d get rid of these monsters by Holy Week. There’s not much more we can do but trust him now, and attend the march on May 1st, because… there are no other alternatives.
Last week, Guaidó named Alberto Federico Ravell as Director of National Communications Center, the seed for a Communications Ministry, as far as we can tell.
They also announced a @Presidencia_VE official Twitter account, to keep us updated.
Gustavo Tarre, Guaidó’s first confirmed representative abroad, attended his first OAS Permanent Council session last week. He tweeted he’ll work with other nations to take Venezuela “from tyranny to liberty, from resignation to action, from indifference to solidarity, from complaints to seeking solutions, from distrust to sincere embrace.”
Ya sentado en la silla de Venezuela reprentando al pueblo democrático de nuestro país. pic.twitter.com/Ix3MFqLj91
— Gustavo Tarre Briceño (@tarrebriceno) April 17, 2019
Venezuelan ambassadors appointed by Guaidó met in Bogotá last week, where they started working for the final phase of Operation Freedom, that starts with the nationwide march on May 1.
#26Abr Todos los Embajadores, juntos, nos estamos preparando para la fase definitiva de la #OperaciónLibertad. Estamos ejerciendo nuestro rol dentro y fuera de Venezuela para que cese la usurpación, para recuperar la democracia y salir de la crisis. #EmbajadoresPorLaLibertad pic.twitter.com/OZEjRRUku6
— Elisa Trotta Gamus (@EliTrotta) April 28, 2019
Also, Guaidó’s “allies” in Spain, notice the quotation marks, won the election yesterday:
Celebramos el triunfo de la democracia en España. Abogamos por el bienestar de todos los españoles.
Nos une la fraternidad histórica y la confianza de que en esta nueva fase, el gobierno español tendrá como prioridad la construcción de salidas a la crisis de #Venezuela.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) April 29, 2019
Jorge Arreaza was sanctioned by the U.S. last week; he denied having bank accounts or credit cards abroad, but who believes him? Now, non-individual sanctions, like those imposed on PDVSA, will deeply impact Venezuelans further down the road. The tangible consequences are coming and it will get a whole lot worse before it gets better. As César Crespo wrote, “Sanctions are a good deterrent to pressure for a transition, but under this context (and historically) have never been enough.”
Deputy Miguel Pizarro has been nothing but transparent regarding the humanitarian aid; he presides the AN Committee in charge of organizing and distributing it in our country, and he’s holding himself and his team accountable.
Humanitarian aid indeed entered the country, and the Red Cross is allegedly distributing it. That’s where it gets murky.
After a few days of Twitter uproar, Stalin González, second vice-president of the National Assembly and head of the Electoral Commission, clarified: they’re working to hold elections from seven to nine months after the end of usurpation, not before, because the order of the steps does matter.
So, where are we at?
Twitter is filled with trolls, Starbucks communists and radicals who blame Guaidó for not doing enough, and for tragedies that are exclusively chavismo’s fault, like nationwide blackouts. It’s great that they only exist on Twitter and Twitter isn’t real life.
When I’m desperate and feel like packing and driving to Maiquetía, I listen to Guaidó. I think he’s done everything he can, to the best of his ability. On Friday, there was an important rally for the organization and execution of Operation Freedom. Caraqueños showed up and we swore to do our part. Going to smaller activities in my municipality and listening to deputies Manuela Bolívar or Miguel Pizarro (or even reading deputy Freddy Guevara’s Twitter account) calms me, filling me with optimism and hope again.
This was Barquisimeto. Guaidó couldn’t make it, but look at the size of that crowd:
Hoy no pudimos estar con ustedes, pero valoramos con todo nuestro corazón su espera y sacrificio, su demostración de que estarán con todo en las calles.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) April 28, 2019
As we reported on our April 26th PRR, Guaidó and his team understand that the march on May 1st can’t be merely symbolic, and they seem to be taking every measure to ensure its triumph.
Miraflores may not be that far away, after all.