This January 23, the oppositor Juan Guaidó has proclaimed himself "president in charge" of Venezuela, challenging Nicolás Maduro on the anniversary of the fall of the Marcos Pérez Jiménez dictatorship.
It's still happening. People who fill the streets of Venezuela against the Maduro regime, because they have almost nothing to lose. An authoritarian regime (so it is qualified in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index of 2018) under the wrapping of a republic, but with a leader who has manipulated a referendum to perpetuate himself in power and who exerts a by-the-book populism, identifying his cause with that of "the people" and always blaming external actors for all the pain suffered by their governed. Several South American countries have already recognized Guaidó, although Donald Trump, the president of the United States, has been his most relevant recognition. Europe encourages new elections, without expressly supporting the self-proclaimed president..
From our country, Spain, some politicians have already positioned themselves. Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos, urges Pedro Sánchez to recognize the change of government, while Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos, speaks of coup d'état.
It's, without a doubt, a coup d'état, an uprising, although one carried out by desperate citizens against an oppressive regime whose disguise of victimhood and democracy has already been broken at the seams.
And it is not necessary to refer to that photo of Maduro exhibiting a starred flag to make comparisons between the Venezuelan and Catalan situation. Because the description of the leader put to finger (Chaves gave way to Maduro as Pujol to Mas, Mas to Puigdemont and the latter to Torra) that carries out a false referendum on the margin of the rest of forces, controlled and manipulated by the ruling power (the "constituyente" of Maduro as the "1-O" of Puigdemont) and twists the laws is something that we already have seen here.
But there are still more similarities. Those forces (military in the case of Maduro, and quasi-paramilitary in the case of Torra) that threaten and intimidate opponents, point their families and attack free journalists is something that, in different intensities, both peoples experience . A populism of accusing finger, of perpetual anger, because if the anger goes numb, people think. And when thinking, a person stops following that "people" of unique purpose and begins to question things.
And now the differences come. Maduro has no one above him to enforce the law and respect democracy. That is why the prospects for Venezuela are obscure, because the Venezuelan president has in his hands an army to use against his own people. Unless the military estates (or part of them) are on the side of the people (not the "people"), a civil war is looming, something that luckily in Catalonia does not go beyond civil conflict.
Another difference is Venezuelans are experiencing misery. Nothing to do with the heartrending proposals of the "exiles" of the procés, any of whom lives better than an average Catalan. Nothing to do with the "suffering of the Catalan people" for which the best paid politicians in Spain claim. Venezuelans go hungry for real, without medical checks or Biomanán shakes. They do fill the streets, because in their houses they have nothing left. That is a revolution of "now or never", not Friday afternoon because on Saturday the snow is of good quality.
And still more differences: Venezuela, as I have said, is listed as "authoritarian regime", while Spain is listed as "Full Democracy" (the fifth best in Europe). And Venezuela already has a good handful of international recognitions. The coup d'état attempted by catalan nationalism, never had any.
Hopefully the situation in Venezuela has the least bad ending. I hope Maduro ends up talking about "political prisoners" and "exiles" in the first person. Or as a minor evil, that this uprising is quelled briefly, quickly and unfairly.
Because the alternative is a civil war in Venezuela. And that is wished to no one. Not even to those who dream of it.