By Luis Manuel Aguana

Versión en español

Ever since the Government in Charge took the
decision to take the fundamental step of holding a Popular Consultation for
Venezuelans, accepting ANCO’s proposal to call for Popular Sovereignty so that
it would be the Venezuelan people who would decide the destiny of the country,
everyone wanted to find out what this instrument was about, requesting
interviews and forums to clarify something that we had been explaining for more
than three years. The fundamentals, the questions, the how it should be done
were explained to the President in charge and his closest advisors.
Nothing was left out.

However, since this process began, it is well
known and communicated that the consultation we proposed and the one the
Government in Charge wants to make to the country are not the same. I am not
going to judge if the consultation they understood is good or bad. Something is
good or bad depending on what you use it for. That is only an instrument. A gun
is good if you use it to take care of your family and keep them from getting
hurt, but it’s bad if you use it to rob people on the street.

If the consultation is used for other
purposes than to leave the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros, it would not be
fulfilling the purposes for which it was designed, and thus it is not the
consultation proposed to the country by the National Constituent Alliance, ANCO.
That is the consultation I have explained in the interviews and forums where I
have participated in social networks. But this has a serious problem: people
have the mistaken perception that the consultation that is being publicly
promoted TODAY by the Government in Charge and the 37 parties of the Pact
signed on September 7, IS THE CONSULTATION that ANCO proposed and that IS NOT

The Consultation that ANCO proposed is
clearly defined in the letter signed by me, as Director of ANCO, to the
Organizing Committee of the Popular Consultation, on October 24, 2020 (see the
press release dated October 25 in Spanish “Venezuela necesita una potente y
esclarecida organización ciudadana”, in There we clearly requested that the questions be reconsidered on pain
of defrauding the population and that we would not be willing to accompany him.
Today is November 1st and still Venezuela believes that ANCO accompanies the
questions formulated by the National Assembly in its October 1st 2020
Agreement. That is another consultation very different from the one we

This confusion, by not clearly defining the
questions that will be asked to the Venezuelan people, has generated a very
important state of anguish that affects in a decisive way the spirit of
participation of the population. The Government in Charge and the parties that
decided on the two questions in the October 1st Accord (a month ago!) have
deliberately delayed the decision to change the questions (if they are going to
do so) for two fundamental reasons: 1) the consultation cannot, according to
them, be outside the strategy of the parties to call elections; and 2) the
consultation cannot be in any other control than that of the parties.

This “consultation” seen from that
perspective kills the very essence of what ANCO proposed to the country. We did
not propose to call the Popular Sovereignty to give the approval to the parties
to “go to elections”. NO. We proposed it so that the Venezuelan
people would fundamentally declare themselves for the presence in power of
Nicolás Maduro Moros and the rest of the illegitimate institutions in their
origin and performance. While the “consultation” is proposed in the
terms that were outlined by the parties in the October 1st Accord, they will
not allow anyone to take control of it, nor of its administration.

In these circumstances, what is left for
civil society to do that we still insist that the questions must be changed
following the universally accepted mantra of “Cessation of
Usurpation-Transitional Government-Free Elections” so that the people not
only participate in its realization, but also attend massively to the act of
voting in the Popular Consultation? To continue organizing ourselves massively
throughout the country, showing civility and demonstrating that if we are the
majority we want to get out of this regime but hoping that is what the parties
finally decide to consult the people because we have made it very clear that we
will not participate in anything that does not begin with the Cessation of the
Usurpation of Maduro and its regime of power, before we can go to a
Transitional Government that organizes free, fair and verifiable elections.

Both consultations are mutually exclusive.
The first one, the consultation proposed by ANCO, has been very clearly
explained in its communiqués and its details are what I answer when someone
asks me. The other, beyond the electoral purposes of the Government in Charge,
I do not know. In fact, that is the one that has run much faster in the whole
country given the communication facilities of the parties and their logistic

“Our consultation” (because I must
identify it somehow) which has an important component in the decisions of the
International Community, has not moved at the same speed because for the
purposes of the “other consultation” that is not what is important.
If you hold a consultation to support an election you do not need the support
of the countries, but if you do it to collect the expulsion of Maduro and his
mafia from power, it would be very clear that it requires that you have
previously agreed with the countries of the International Community to make effective
the Principle of Self-Determination of the Peoples, in case Maduro refuses to
go along with the direct mandate of the Venezuelan people. Do you realize that
there are two consultations? At some point soon we Venezuelans will know which
two consultations will prevail. And we will also know what to do when that
happens. That’s why I don’t even have to say it. At this point we are already
cured of the horrors…

Caracas, November 1, 2020