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Popular Plebiscite Consultation or How to Resolve the Interception of Sovereignty

By Luis Manuel Aguana

I loved the term "interception" coined by Dr. Blanca Rosa Mármol de León to prevent the expression of Popular Sovereignty by those who should rather guarantee it. According to the DRAE (Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy), Interception: "1. f. Action and effect of intercepting". And that is what we Venezuelans have suffered on behalf of those who claim to represent us in that collegiate body called the National Assembly: a permanent act of interception of what Venezuelans are asking for. The three meanings of the verb intercept clarify it: "1. tr. Taking possession of something before it reaches its destination; 2. tr. Stopping something on its way; 3. tr. Interrupting, obstructing a way of communication”. All this and much more has been done by the Deputies of the National Assembly with what we have requested.

The eternal problem of the differences between what the representative does with what the representative desperately asks for, and what the representative does not do for reasons ranging from the orders of his party to the most abject corruption. Democracies dissolve to the extent that the representatives rise up with the sovereignty that the people granted them. During the period of the 40 years of the parties, there really was a dictatorship in relation to the representation that for 5 years they assumed on behalf of the electorate, but there was a minimum of respect towards what the people asked expressed in the ballot boxes.

If one chooses representatives, it is to advocate for their interests, not for those of the party or anyone else. However, this evil is not only of Venezuelans, it is actually of the system of political representation, and other countries suffer from it as well. For example, in Argentina, a few years ago a local action party emerged in Buenos Aires, founded by young people who use technological platforms to make their representatives obligatorily vote for what the citizens want (see in Spanish ¿Qué es el partido de la Red? in https://youtu.be/2ylBnaMutuA). At some point in the future we will see similar demonstrations in Venezuela. However, although we are still politically far from that, we are not from the point of view of what is enshrined in our Constitution.

The Constituent of 1999 established in a deliberate and taxative manner, that Sovereignty be exercised DIRECTLY without the interception of the Public Powers of the State. Hence, Article 4 of the 1961 Constitution, which stated that "Sovereignty resides in the people who exercise it, through suffrage, by the organs of Public Power", became Article 5 of the 1999 Constitution as "Sovereignty resides untransferably in the people, who exercise it directly in the manner provided for in this Constitution and the law, and indirectly, through suffrage, by the organs that exercise Public Power".

This change took a transcendental turn in what we citizens can do. And Venezuelans still haven't realized that! That single article freed us from the tyranny exercised until then exclusively by the Public Powers for 5 years, giving the people the ability to influence the political events of the country, at any time. But it also took away from the Constitution a security mechanism to allow the President of the Republic, manipulating the people, to override any provision of control that the Constitution granted only to the Public Powers of the State.

Hence, the laws of People's Power, Communal Councils, or any other form of assembly manipulated by the Executive Power, put any manifestation of the people above the Public Powers established in the Constitution. Losing the favor of the people, the regime could no longer resort to this manipulation, but the device is still there. And without us practically realizing that power, we have given ourselves exclusively to the representation made by our "representatives," when the system we had, had gone from being representative to being participatory as of 1999, with all the mechanisms that the Constitution itself gave us. But remember that this was not a gracious concession of chavismo, it was a trap of popular manipulation of power when Chávez moved popular mass.

By virtue of all that, if we do not agree on what our representatives do we can directly exercise Sovereignty "in the manner provided for in this Constitution, and in the law". And those forms are provided for in Article 70, among which is the Popular Consultation. And beyond that, without the intervention of the Electoral Power, because the Popular Consultations are not within the framework of the attributions of that power (Article 293, Numeral 5).

Venezuelans do not have, by virtue of this Constitutional norm, to wait for the deputies as representatives of the people to convene a Popular Consultation or any other act that suits us. WE CAN DO THAT. Nor do we have to wait for them to approve or not Article 187#11 or any other provision we consider necessary to solve the country's political problem within the framework of the humanitarian crisis that oppresses us. See the power that the citizen has if he knows how to conduct himself in an adequate manner with precise objectives.

So what's stopping us from doing it? Organize to do it. And one of the most difficult things is to organize Civil Society to do something coordinated. From ANCO we have proposed the basis on which to sustain the Sovereign's call for this Popular Consultation WITHOUT THE NECESSITY TO RESOURCE ANY CONSTITUTEED POWER OF THE STATE and we have called it the Citizen's Statute for Constitutional Restoration and Democratic Restoration. (see in Spanish Estatuto Ciudadano in http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2019/04/estatuto-ciudadano.html).

According to Article 333, "every citizen invested or citizen invested or not invested with authority, shall have the duty to collaborate in the re-establishment of its effective validity". The movement that we promote, clearly from the Civil Society, argues that principle for the re-establishment of the effective validity of the Constitution. In practice, we are opposing the Citizen Statute to the Statute that governs the Transition of the National Assembly in order to impose a consultative way that, with the hand of the citizens, provokes the Cessation of Usurpation, informing our allies abroad of this citizen power.

Likewise, Article 326 of the Constitution gives Civil Society direct co-responsibility, together with the State, in National Security "to comply with the principles of independence, democracy, equality, peace, freedom, justice, solidarity, promotion and conservation of the environment and affirmation of human rights...", principles that have been violated by the regime of Nicolás Maduro Moros. The State has ceased to fulfill its responsibility to the Nation in the safeguarding of its Security in the territory and it is up to us to assume it, exercising our right to summon the Depositary of Sovereignty to restore the Rule of Law in Venezuela.

As you will see, we have not only the responsibility but also the duty to intervene in the face of this monumental upheaval of the political class using the mechanisms laid down in the Constitution. And that has nothing to do with what some call "anti-politics”. No. It is the construction of new bases on which to build the State when all the institutions are destroyed, including the political parties themselves. It is not a question of reconstructing the country to what it had "before", but of building it completely from scratch on completely new bases, hand in hand with the citizens and without intercepting the will of the venezuelans. It is a complex task, and this would only be the first step...

Caracas, October 26, 2019

Email: luismanuel.aguana@gmail.com
Twitter:@laguana

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