di Herbert Koeneke Ramírez
La crisis en la que ha estado sumida Venezuela en los últimos años resulta no solo preocupante dentro y fuera del país, sino que además genera dudas acerca de la probabilidad de que sea prontamente superada. El colapso de la industria petrolera, el deterioro de los indicadores económicos, la diatriba contra figuras públicas, la judicialización de la política, los escándalos de corrupción, la politización del sector militar, los elevados niveles de violencia y la creciente emigración hacia distintos países constituyen factores determinantes de esa consternación social.
The regime established in Venezuela since 1999, when Hugo Chávez became President of the Republic, has been considered by different analysts as autoritarismo competitivo, democradura and dictablanda, among other conceptualizations of hybrid governments, but also as autocracia and totalitarismo alluding to pure types of political systems. Regardless of the term used, the democracy born in 1958, despite experiencing some deterioration since the 1980s, has notably regressed during the last two decades in values such as freedom, transparency and peaceful coexistence. Some options have been proposed in order to reverse this degradation and promote redemocratization: “transitologists” have defined them as transformación or reform, replacement or rupture, “transplazo” or negotiation, and foreign invasion. Negotiation is currently considered the most viable option, although the other ones have not been totally ruled out. In fact, a sector of the opposition has accepted the installation of a new negotiating table for agreements with the ruling party since September 2019.
However, some conditions are essential for these negotiations to be translated into real achievements. First of all, it is necessary to abandon the disqualifying and polarizing discourse, known as “group-centric framing”, used intensely by Hugo Chávez and now by his followers. If this divisive rhetoric persists, eventual agreements will be hindered. Secondly, the ruling party must publicly accept that its candidates can be defeated or revoked (not always winning) in free and transparent elections. Thirdly, the government must refuse the abuse of power in its various forms, such as judicialization of politics, administrative opacity and censorship of the media.
This paper addresses the fundamental aspects for the eventual transition to democracy, without teleological implications, after the setback experienced by the Venezuelan political system in recent years.