Lifetime Constituent

By Luis Manuel Aguana

What part of "no elections with an unconstitutional constituent in function" did the official opposition not understand? Instead, they embroiled Venezuela in a tiring discussion about whether to vote or not. All the analysts, national and international, expressed their opinion, putting the country in an endless dispute where the regime on all sides wins. Since the discussion doesn't touch that unconstitutional parapet, they don't even want people to go. They will say:"If the opponents go, we steal the elections, or we take them like we did to Andrés Velásquez in Bolívar, and if they don't go, we don't even have to do fraud".

The substance of the discussion is still intact: the Rodriguez Constituent Assembly is still standing and no one from the official opposition is proposing anything. And why is that? Because the Dominican Republic's argument was based on the regime granting concessions for electoral conditions that they would never accept, as well as the dismantling of the illegitimate constituent, precisely because that is the means in which they guarantee its stability.

Then they ran out of "electoral" proposals, the regime calls for advanced elections with those who want to go with them (that they have too much) so that no agreement has been reached, leaving them only to demand electoral conditions, something that could have been possible since before 2012, as many of us asked for it from civil society and that they openly ignored, but now it looks like a stupidity because there is a supraconstitutional power in office. So what is the electoral solution? Is the discussion then to go to vote or not to vote? What madness is this?

The regime's plan is going from strength to strength and the question remains the same: is there a different solution that does not involve continuing the electoral game of the regime and its opposition? Well, there is, but this must be done by dismantling the unconstitutional parapet that the regime was built to remain in power. And that can only be done by the people in consultation as provided for in the 1999 Constitution.

Tolerating the regime's constituent appears to be the path chosen by those who still defend going to elections with that constituent in office. Crass error. The Constituent Assembly of Delcy Rodríguez has already attributed to itself the legislative functions of the National Assembly, as well as the appointment of officials who are constitutionally competent only to her, as in the case of the Attorney General of the Republic.

What's their route? Little by little, turn this National Constituent Assembly into a "National Assembly of People's Power" in the image and likeness of the Cuban one, whose powers are established in its constitution:"Art. 70. The National Assembly of People's Power is the only body with constituent and legislative power in the Republic", merging both entities with their constituent power acquired unconstitutionally. That Assembly operates on a permanent basis and the Cuban Constitution grants it lifetime constituent powers.

In a recent conversation with a former Venezuelan minister who travelled to Cuba in the exercise of his office, he indicated to me that his Cuban counterpart at the time told him that the National Assembly of People's Power in his country was the "guarantee of the revolution" and he had not understood why at that time. After all that has happened in Venezuela, he now understands that the intention is to give a life character to this unconstitutional Assembly, with constituent powers to guarantee in the same way what they call "their revolution". Well, it is this virus that has perverted the institutional body of the country, which must be attacked first so that the body of the Republic does not end up dying.

Once the constitutional changes that are already being prepared have been made, the National Assembly would disappear, taking up its functions this illegitimate Constituent, remaining for life with constituent powers, even though they have said that they would last two years. That's how it happens in Cuba. It is not very difficult to project what would happen in Venezuela if that constituent adjournment is not dismantled.

But what our official opposition only thinks about is going to elections, not touching the main threat to the institutionality of our country. And the most serious thing is that in this they are backed by illustrious thinkers recognized by all. I will not name them because you all know them and they have become notorious in recent days for their interest in going to elections as a place, some even proposing Lorenzo Mendoza as a candidate for "Unity".

To that life constituent, which is what will end up coming out as a subsequent step in the re-election of Maduro, we oppose a Popular Consultation as a proposal that goes to the root of the problem, and a shot at the waterline of these pretensions, since it is not possible to convoke any kind of electoral event in the framework of an unconstitutional Constituent not summoned by the people, and through which it is intended to perpetuate the current government. Any pressure from the international community must be directed to the government presided over by Nicolás Maduro to allow this consultation with all the necessary electoral and international observation guarantees, and not to any electoral event that maintains a supraconstitutional entity in office, in contravention of the established constitutional order. It is for this reason that we believe that a plebiscite is what corresponds to Venezuela as a democratic, participatory, electoral and constitutional solution in opposition to any electoral solution, even when conditions are required to participate.

In this Plebiscite, the people of Venezuela would be consulted if they agreed to dismantle the illegitimate Constituent Assembly and annul all its acts, thus proceeding to the restitution of the right violated by the regime to consult with the Venezuelan people on the convocation of a legitimate National Constituent Assembly, with democratic and participative bases, and the necessary designation, from their own bosom, of a transitional government that would lead to the establishment of a democratic and participative base.

As you will see there is an institutional solution on which to put pressure on the regime of Nicolás Maduro that does not go through advance elections called in an unconstitutional manner, presenting to the people of Venezuela and the International Community, a peaceful, democratic, constitutional and electoral alternative, which will overturn the pretensions of making this parapet of the Rodriguez a Lifetime Constituent....

Caracas, February 12, 2018

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