14ymedio, Julio Aleaga Pesant, Manzanillo, 29 October 2023 — Last Sunday, October 22, marked a page in Latin American politics from which the Cuban democratic opposition can learn. First, the failure of Javier Milei to be elected in the first round of the Argentine presidential elections, and then the election of María Corina Machado (MCM) in the primaries of the Venezuelan democratic opposition, are points to consider.
What happened to Milei? In last August’s pre-presidential elections, known as Paso, he came in first place. Such was the euphoria, that he himself bragged that on his birthday he would be elected president of the Argentine Republic. But he was in the end relegated to a creditable second place in the actual elections.
What happened was typical of democracies that have parties. Sergio Massa is the candidate of the ruling Peronist coalition, Unión por la Patria. Allied with the convicted Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President Alberto Fernandez and the continental left grouped in the Puebla Group, they put their foot on the accelerator of the structure. Between Kirchner, Fernandez, Massa and others, they set the party’s electoral machinery in motion.
Unión por la Patria showed its muscle and defeated the candidate of Libertad Avanza by 7 points. A new organization, full of euphoric people disenchanted with the “caste,” but still with a lot to learn about politics.
I do not rule out that the strategists and the money of the Puebla Group flowed to Buenos Aires to achieve this result
I do not rule out that the strategists and the money of the Puebla Group flowed to Buenos Aires to achieve this result and also that the next ballot will be held. Everything remains to be seen, in politics two plus two might not equal four.
And in Venezuela? There, the opposition primaries were held to elect a leader and a team to promote and set an agenda that will take the country out of the pit it is in, based on concrete actions and public policies that will put an end to the long Chavo-Madurist night. Is it the key to the “seven thunders”? No! But it is an important step to give the Venezuelan citizen a voice.
How did they do it? Well, in the only and complex way it can be done. The leaders of the political organizations agreed (Plataforma Unitaria) to hold elections (primaries) to elect the leader of the opposition before the presidential elections. The leaders summoned their bases and enlisted them in an independent electoral commission (National Primary Commission), composed of prestigious lawyers and representatives of the different participating organizations.
In that process, fiercely bombarded by the caste of “bolidictatores“, María Corina Machado, from Vente Venezuela, was elected. Thus, the opposition now has a leadership legitimized by the participation of the political parties and their voters. Does this mean that they fulfilled the Hill of Zion? No, it does not. Only that they started to walk their “road to Damascus”.
And when will we learn from others?
The pains that mistreat me / are so many that they run over / and as they try to kill me / they crowd each other and that’s why they don’t kill me. Sindo Garay’s song, performed by the unforgettable Silvia Perez Cruz, intoned by the Cuban democratic opposition in exile or “insile,” but undoubtedly in the center of its labyrinth.
Why don’t we just get it over with?
Under the conditions of cruel repression of the predatory communist regime against the whole society, it is difficult to organize a process of selection of leaders within the island, such as the one that has just taken place in Venezuela. Especially when the most important opposition parties and organizations have also disappeared from the island in the last seven years under the blows of repression, exile, the old age of the founders or the lack of interest of young people.
But, does anything prevent compatriots from abroad from forming and accepting a leadership, with goals, challenges and that is pro-tempore, asks Ernesto Gutiérrez Tamargo from Europe. And he focuses on the exile, because of its “freedom of political action and international logistic maneuverability”, and because it has the opportunity to “tune in with the internal opposition of the island to develop strategies.”
The foundation of these “primaries” we dream of, he continues, is that they “must represent the essential pillars of building a Constitutional and Democratic Rule of Law with national proposals to confront the regime in international forums.”
Of course, in order to nurture this proposal, the reluctance of so many “kingdoms of taifas [petty political factions]” must be overcome
Of course, in order to nurture this proposal, the reluctance of so many “taifa kingdoms” [small kingdoms] and political parties without representativeness or leadership capacity will have to be overcome. But it would be a step. We have been denied the right to exist as a democratic political alternative: “the Castroist pax castrista” typifies us as criminals in its Penal Code.
I agree with the Cuban lawyer, and I would only add that a primary in the opposition would be the opportunity to make the decision-making process transparent within the democratic opposition. Above all, in the face of the citizens and with the pertinent consensuses, it would be projected on the whole Cuban society, directly affecting the bases of the regime. It would be a special time of identification of forces and the existence of ideologies, which would begin to coexist for a common good, the homeland and a higher goal: to build democracy.
The lessons of 22-O are both in Argentina and Venezuela: to face our national challenges, we need strong and qualified leaderships and structures, chosen by the citizens.
Translated by Hombre de Paz
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