Venezuelan people are mobilized against Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship and signal the terminal phase of the usurper regime. The political, economic, social and health crisis aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic, is a generalized crisis that has triggered the popular mobilization demanding basic utility services. It is the people’s needs turned into desperation that activates the Venezuelan civil resistance and this forebodes the departure of a regime that does not have either the capability, or the possibilities of mitigating, and least of all solving, the situation of misery and defenselessness that it has caused.
Mahatma Gandhi teaches that “civil resistance is a rebellion but without any violence” that is the “most effective means to express the concerns one feels and the most eloquent way to protest against maintaining in power a state that does not behave as it should”. Political science conceptualizes civil resistance as “a form of political action consisting of the execution of strategies that do not include violence against the adversary with whom there is conflict, but instead is aimed at seducing the vast public opinion so that the public voluntarily decides to discontinue placing their obedience regarding the power controlled by said adversary…”
It has been amply proven that in Venezuela organized crime with foreign complicity, oppresses the people with; a structured system of human rights’ violations, politically persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, exiled, and assassinated. None of the essential components of democracy exist, given the fact that in order to indefinitely hang-on to power all basic individual freedoms have been suppressed, there isn’t the rule of law, there isn’t division and independence of the branches of government, and the simulation of elections is the means to sustain the farse of a vote-catching dictatorship.
Beyond having turned Venezuela into a terrorist narco-state and beyond all of the crime triggered by the usurpation of power, the day-to-day subsistence of the people is nearly impossible due to the lack of food, medicines, and basic utility services. There is a lack of potable water, electricity, gas, gasoline, and basic utility services because they either don’t work, or no longer exist. This is the painful replication of the destruction that Cuba has suffered for 61 years, but it involves a larger population in this 21st century, in the midst of the communicational revolution with nearly 60 States who have recognized another President, with the dictator who is wanted by international justice, and with a pandemic.
Venezuelan people are victims of daily violence and intimidation, they live in permanent distress because in the Castrochavist system there isn’t any guarantees or rights. It is about the instilling of fear to oppress, but there are needs that outweigh fear. So, now there is a confrontation of the need to survive against the fear instilled by the brutal force and indignity of repression. Hunger is gaining over fear.
The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict registered “4,414 protests in the first semester of 2020, an equivalent to an average of 25 daily” and more than half of them were to demand basic utility services due to electrical failures and to demand water and gas. In July, there were 649 protests with an average of 22 daily. In August, there were 748 protests with an average of 25 daily “mainly rejecting the collapse of basic utility services, labor demands, and having access to health-care and to food” with “315 protests for gasoline with an average of 33 detained and 4 injured”.
The news media reported that in recent days there had been protests in the following states; Distrito Capital, Miranda, Sucre, Lara, Yaracuy, Anzoátegui, Amazonas, Monagas and Bolívar. It also reported that “the regime’s forces repress the protests in the municipalities of the Yaracuy State where basic utility services have collapsed and the people are desperate”. The growth of the conflict is described as “from East to West” with 356 closures of streets or avenues, 251 massive concentrations, 122 banner displays, and 57 work-stoppages.
The dictatorship’s response is threats, intimidation, violence, imprisonments, and more violations of human rights, while the message from the protests resound “the dictator’s and the regime’s departure” to whom they blame -rightfully so- to be responsible for such unfortunate situation.
The reality shows that as long as Maduro and his regime continue the usurpation of power, these calamitous conditions will get worse. Despite politics, the people only have the option to remove Maduro to change their situation. On the other hand, the regime only has the Castrochavist mandate to stay in power by force because it lacks any way to stop the crisis or to reverse it. It is the irresistible power of Civil Resistance that cannot be defeated and that it will put an end to the dictatorship.
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.