If I could set the oppo’s political line…

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Quico says: …here’s what you would be hearing again and again from our side in the next few weeks:

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías [like that, using both his last names, to denote respect] proposed a new constitution to the nation, and the the sovereign people adopted it as the fundamental law of the land. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to that constitution.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed that the government should always be democratic, participatory, elected, decentralized, alternating, responsible, pluralist and open to recall. The sovereign people accepted that proposal and enshrined it in its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the principle that the government must always be democratic, participatory, elected, decentralized, alternating, responsible, pluralist and open to recall.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed to the nation that presidents should serve six year terms and be eligible for re election only once. The nation accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of no indefinite re election.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed to the nation that some rights, like the right to information and the right to due process, should be seen as so fundamental that they cannot be abridged, even in the midst of an emergency. The sovereign people accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the right to information and the right to due process, at all times and under all circumstances.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed to the nation that the Armed Forces be essentially professional, without political militancy, and at the service of the nation rather than any political partiality. The nation accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of politically impartial Armed Forces.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed to the nation that the Central Bank should be autonomous, and the sovereign people accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the autonomy of their Central Bank.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed to the people of Venezuela that they should reserve the right to call a Constituent Assembly by collecting the signatures of 15% of registered voters. The nation accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to the idea that 15% of electors should be able to call a Constituent Assembly.

In 1999, the Bolivarian movement led by President Hugo Chávez Frías proposed a decentralized system of government that gave real power to governors and mayors directly elected by the sovereign people, and the nation accepted that proposal and enshrined it into its constitution. Last night, Venezuelans reaffirmed their commitment to a decentralized system of government that gives real power over local and regional matters to the mayors and governors they themselves elect.

The Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela has now been ratified by the sovereign will of the people not once, but twice. Obeying its norms is not optional. No Venezuelan has the right to violate any of its provisions. Every Venezuelan has the obligation, please note, the obligation to defend it.

The point is to stress the referendum’s role in paving the road back to constitutional legality.

The point is to remind chavistas inside the institutions who signed up to the original project and didn’t like the reform proposal (think Supreme Tribunal Chief Judge Luisa Estela Morales) that it wasn’t “the opposition” that won last night, it was their constitution.

We must not allow a situation where the same abuses of power that were rejected by the majority last night are reintroduced through the back door, as part of Chavez’s special powers to legislate by decree, or in any other way.

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