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More than Integración Ciudadana

By Luis Manuel Aguana

In an important event held on Friday, October 11 at the College of Engineers of Venezuela, with the assistance of a large group of citizens concerned about the country, was the official launch of the proposal for the Popular Plebiscite Consultation in the framework of a new grouping of civil society: Integración Ciudadana (see in Spanish in

This new group was born accompanying the proposal of one of its main founding organizations, the Alianza Nacional Constituyente Originaria, ANCO, who together with the Grupo de Análisis Político, GAP and other civil society organizations welcomed the fundamental idea of calling for People's Sovereignty to decide the future of Venezuela through an instrument that the Constitution provides to citizens above the Constituted Powers of the State: a People's Consultation,

However, what summons us Venezuelans is not only to get rid of a usurping and castrating regime of liberties, but also to REPAIR POPULAR SOBERANCE, seriously damaged in 20 years of dismantling by an international criminal organization. Venezuelan institutions are destroyed. It is not possible to call for a new electoral process in Venezuela without having repaired the institutionality as a whole. And who should do that? The Government in Charge of Juan Guaidó? The Armed Forces, which are already destroyed? Or worse still, any foreign country? No. To us, to each and every Venezuelan.

The intervention of Dr. Pedro Urrieta Figueredo, ANCO's Citizen Development Coordinator, describes it fully: "As citizens, we identify that the greatest usurpation that has been committed in Venezuela has been against popular sovereignty, manifested in: the non-observance of the electoral result of last December 6, 2015; the suspension of the processing of the recall referendum in 2016; the authorization by the Supreme Court of Justice of the constituent process without popular call, and without the possibility of calling the constitutional consultative referendum; the non-observance of the binding results of the Popular Consultation held on July 16, 2017; the holding of electoral processes, including the presidential one, without the guarantees established in article 298 of the Constitution, during the years 2017 and 2018. This injury must be repaired. It is up to democrats and democracies to do so. Therefore, if we register the magnitude of the prevailing antagonism and deinstitutionalization, we can understand our obligation to produce the re-establishment of the rights of the Venezuelan people through the approval of a civic-democratic process based on popular sovereignty, with clear and shared rules, whose results are unquestionably accepted by the social base, the main institutional actors of the country and the international community, using for this purpose any of the means of participation and protagonism of the people set forth in the Constitution, and addressing issues and cases that violate the dignity of persons, justice and the validity of human rights" (see intervention in Spanish by Dr. Pedro Urrieta Figueredo, in

And on what basis? As Urrieta Figueredo pointed out in her speech, the current Constitution clearly establishes a shared responsibility between the State and Civil Society in the "Principles of National Security":

Article 326: "The security of the Nation is based on the co-responsibility of the State and Civil Society to comply with the principles of independence, democracy, equality, peace, freedom, justice, solidarity, promotion and conservation of the environment and affirmation of human rights, as well as on the progressive satisfaction of the individual and collective needs of Venezuelans, on the basis of a sustainable and productive development with full coverage for the national community. The principle of co-responsibility is exercised over the economic, social, political, cultural, geographical, environmental and military spheres”.

If the State failed to fulfil its responsibility as a result of a criminal kidnapping, we cannot evade it. This is like the co-responsibility of parents in the care of children in a marriage: if one fails or dies, the other assumes it.

And this co-responsibility is not new. In my father's work to opt for the Doctorate in Law at the University of Carabobo, dated in the 60's (see in Spanish Raúl Aguana Figuera, Consideraciones sobre el Derecho Militar Venezolano, in, Dr. Aguana established that the expanded conception of the National Defense included all Venezuelans, not only the military: “… The continuity of the State in the order of time and space rests in the defense of its existence, protecting itself from decomposition agents that constantly affect it, jeopardizing the community organized in the State in terms of internal security and external security. National defense corresponds to all members of that community, that is, all citizens are responsible, as well as public bodies, the realization of the so-called permanent large objectives of the defense, which cover the political, economic, social, military, the promotion of citizen welfare and society in general, the survival of our culture and strategic objectives ”. (highlighted our)

And according to this conceptualization we are all involved in the problem of defending the Nation, not just the military. The 1999 Constitution assigns very clear responsibilities to them in Article 328, and to Civil Society in Article 326. We are facing a certain threat to our National Security and the military, who should be called upon to defend it, have been neutralized, and its leadership has allied itself to a criminal organization with foreign ties, leaving the population unprotected.

It is then up to us Venezuelans a clear responsibility in the re-establishment of the validity of the Constitution, otherwise already established as a duty in Article 333. Integración Ciudadana is something more than a group of organizations and citizens committed to comply with what is a duty of all Venezuelans. It is the first step of a citizenry that has been perfectly aware of this responsibility and is acting accordingly, making a clear proposal to Venezuelans. Let us all add to that effort to rescue Venezuela.

Caracas, October 14, 2019


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