CARACAS, Venezuela (ViaNews) – Venezuela’s crisis continues to grow rapidly and no one seems able to stop it.
After last years failed protests and a variety of also failed negotiation attempts with the government, rejection towards MUD (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática – Democratic Union Roundtable) has escalated rapidly.
The coalition is deeply fractured by confronting views within it, especially after the fraud complaints in the Regional elections of the past year, and even more with the dilemma of participating or not in the past Presidential elections. That has caused many citizens to reject the current political class. They do not feel represented by the MUD or the government, which has caused the rise of many alternative organizations.
One of these organizations is Rumbo Libertad (Freedom Route).
They define themselves as a libertarian Venezuelan political movement at the service of Venezuelan Resistance. It’s formed by young Venezuelan professionals and students founded upon “Venezuelan and Occidental values” and its main goal is freeing Venezuela from the “communist regime of Nicolás Maduro”.
They say they are atypical in Venezuelan political scene because “it’s not allied with MUD or Chavista government as they both are part of the same system that wants to enslave Venezuelans”. Their civil disobedience strategy leads them to participate in politics from the outside of Venezuela’s political system.
“Many countries said months ago that it didn’t matter who won, they still would not recognize the outcome of the elections. Basically, the MUD just said to people ‘stay at home’ “.
Their leaders have been persecuted by the Venezuelan government, to the point that “the regime solicited red code to the Interpol against some of them, even though the petition was rejected”. One of the leaders of the movement is Rafael Valera, who spoke in exclusive with VIA News about the present and future of Venezuela.
Rafael is 21 years old, currently resides in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is Rumbo Libertad’s Propaganda Director. He has met with many important Latin American authorities and political figures like Colombian former president, Andrés Pastrana, and current Brazilian presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro representing the movement. With his sharp, direct –maybe too direct– style, he answered many questions to VIA News without mincing words or with the slightest consideration towards Venezuelan political class.
Edgar Beltrán: The opposition and the resistance said that May 20 (the day of Presidential elections in Venezuela) was going to be the start of Venezuela’s rebellion. There was a successful call for people not to vote, but now everything seems the same or even worse. What happened?
Rafael Valera: Well, actually there were two different messages and, therefore, two different strategies.
On one strategy, MUD (Writer’s note: MUD is Venezuela’s biggest opposition organizations’ coalition) called for abstention, as they saw themselves against the ropes due to the position the international community took. Many countries said months ago that it didn’t matter who won, they still would not recognize the outcome of the elections. Basically, the MUD just said to people “stay at home”.
On the other strategy, resistance called for a boycott. Following the same strategy of July 30 of the past year (Writer’s note: that day the National Constituent Assembly election members were elected under denounces of fraud and illegitimacy), the installation of many electoral centers was avoided, there were protests in many parts of the country and even electoral machinery was destroyed. The result was that the international community rejected the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly. In this subject we also repudiate the elections, demand more sanctions against regime high officials, more organization in local groups to continue delegitimizing the narco-dictatorship to accelerate the configuration of a transitional government.
You point towards a transitional government, what would be the next step?
Currently, it must be defined and sworn in. After that, it should be recognized by the international community, whose most prominent elements are disposed to do so. After that, the most important step is liberation. Its main goal is reconquering Venezuelan territory and opening the humanitarian channel.
How would you build viability and legitimacy to that transitional government? Would it be a parallel State structure? Is the international community disposed to recognize it?
Yes, it would be a parallel state structure to work on the most important and immediate matters like the humanitarian channel and diplomacy. I say it again: International community is disposed to recognize the new transitional government for a diversity of factors. The regime is delegitimized inside and outside of Venezuela, causing a power gap where stability is in play. Second, today there are political forces that have the necessary presence and tools to articulate a new transitional government. And third, the international community itself is promoting it, which means, it is not an isolated and aleatory idea, but something backed up and well-thought. The OAS, the US government, and United Nations have shown totally disposed to accept the idea.
For us, it is important that this government is built seriously as the complex situation demands. For that, we in Rumbo Libertad have proposed Renacer (Rebirth), our proposal for transition, whose second edition will be published in the next few days. It tackles the most important points to re-stabilize the country.
“Venezuela needs the union of patriotic efforts of different parts of the population that actually want to solve the country’s problems.”
Where the MUD falls in all this? Would you reach some kind of agreement? MUD is a relevant political factor; it can’t be ignored just like that.
I tell you: there will be no negotiation with them. In spite of their existence, in spite of their presence, they have taken the position of saving the actual system. They have rejected every patriotic action and have even made counter-propaganda against them. Their agenda is to repeat the elections when, actually, what we must do is to form a transitional government and consolidate the conquest of political power. In that sense, an agreement with those who want to save Maduro does not exist, and won’t exist.
“Trump Administration has been sharp and ready-witted in its Venezuelan policy <...> it is more likely that the support they provide is limited to diplomatic and logistic efforts to consolidate the humanitarian channel and pressure the regime.”
Falling in sectarianism wouldn’t be counter-productive? Wouldn’t it be repeating past mistakes? MUD’s popularity has fallen but they still represent an important part of the population.
On the contrary! It would mean learning from past mistakes. They had twenty years to take power, and they have dedicated to oxygenate the regime inside and outside the country with roundtables, attempts to neutralize sanctions and many other actions. And here I will answer you about sectarianism: Venezuela does not need a unity where people limit to shut up and obey, where we have to look the other way. Venezuela needs the union of patriotic efforts of different parts of the population that actually want to solve the country’s problems, that actually want to take the narcos away from power, and this can only be achieved with honest people totally alien to today’s political class.
Trump administration has given Venezuela’s situation a vital place on its geopolitical agenda. For many, statements from different high officials about Venezuela are the prelude to an imminent intervention. What do you think about that?
Intervention under the classic scheme is unlikely, as it would suppose an even greater growth of the conflict, and would imply making it even more complex.
Trump Administration has been sharp and ready-witted in its Venezuelan policy. Even as important officials have said that they have not discarded any option, it is more likely that the support they provide is limited to diplomatic and logistic efforts to consolidate the humanitarian channel and pressure the regime.
Are economic sanctions and pressure in international organizations like the OAS truly effective? The Cuban case gives little hope on this scenario. Wouldn’t Venezuela end even more isolated?
International pressure is specific in objectives and the subject it is directed to. To understand it we cannot see it as a policy that pretends to go against the regime wildly. These measures look forward to disintegrating its legitimacy and sustainability sources. If the narco-dictatorship (that sustains itself financially with drug trafficking) receives economic sanctions its money is frozen and its operations are sabotaged, therefore it will face severe difficulties to buy more arms, repression material, sustain their guerrillas (the armed colectivos) and so on, thus it will be weakened.
On the other side, international pressure seeks the regime’s repudiation to be tangible and that it does not stay in mere conversations and statements without any importance. The objective is to consolidate the regime’s repudiation to give way to a transitional government that, once it is recognized, will be supported by the free world.
You speak thoroughly about a transitional government, but before that, Nicolás Maduro would have to leave power. How would that happen?
Maduro would not have to leave power first, necessarily. For example, we have the Polish experience. Under German and Soviet occupation the Polish Secret State functioned at the same time in London and was totally recognized as the continuation of the Republic of Poland while Polish Resistance freed the territory from Nazi and Communist invasion. In this sense, transitional government in Venezuela could perfectly operate from the inside and the outside of the country, while the Resistance would begin the independence process.
“We need to control the monetary mass emission to control inflation, and a strong prohibition of the monetization of the fiscal deficit must be enforced.”
And how would this independence process be?
It is a process that implies the already existent union between the civil Resistance with the patriotic military. The goal is to recover the territory until the regime surrenders. This will not be an isolated action, because in every territory freed from the narco-dictatorship the humanitarian channel will consolidate to provide the necessary goods for the population. Independence brings the start of Venezuelan re-stabilization, at least in its most immediate problems.
“We propose the total elimination of the exchange control and the creation of a new currency linked to the dollar value.”
What are Rumbo Libertad’s economic proposals?
In Renacer we have proposed many measures that point towards re-stabilization and re-foundation of our economic system directed to achieve a free market strong system. For example, we need to control the monetary mass emission to control inflation, and a strong prohibition of the monetization of the fiscal deficit must be enforced. We want to unlock the national financial market, giving freedom to financial institutions to generate their own financial instruments. We propose the total elimination of the exchange control and the creation of a new currency linked to the dollar value. It would coexist with the Bolívar (Writer’s note: Venezuela’s actual currency) until relative prices adjust.
“The restitution of the Republic of Venezuela and its Independence from communism is only starting.”
What comes now for Venezuela?
A complex and arduous process will come, but it will be incredibly positive because the restitution of the Republic of Venezuela and its Independence from communism is only starting. In the following months, Venezuelan’s Faith, patriotism, and their convictions will be put in trial again, and I know will come out victorious from this struggle, because the world is on our side and we have all the tools to obtain Liberty. God has put us in the front line of a tough battle and we have grown in Faith in the midst of adversity to be stronger and capable to revive Venezuela. I deeply trust in Venezuelans, in those who will lead the Republic and in all the Venezuelans that fight for a free Nation.