“I know we won people. But the comandante presidente wants us to discuss this unreadable thing all over again.”

Last weekend, State media outlets dedicated almost all of their programing to cover a series of small gatherings all across Venezuela, as part of something called “Constituent Process of the Second Socialist Plan of the Nation, 2013-2019”.

Catchy title, wouldn’t you agree?

What’s this all about? Apparently Chavismo wants followers to reckon ideas for the next six years of Chavernment.

Wait a second… If Chavez won and therefore, 55% of the voters agreed with his “program of the fatherland”, all he has to do now is to simply apply it, right? What’s the point of debating it again? Venezuelans gave their response last month. Folks, just govern already!

And then, the answer could be right in front of us … the key word here is “constituent”.

What comes to mind by hearing it? The process of making or changing the Constitution.

So, Chávez wants a rematch of the 2007 referendum… or something. Not surprising, but even if they lost it they implemented those reforms de facto via ordinary legislation.

The Chavernment has denied any intention to change the Constitution or call a Constitutional Assembly, and has invited the opposition to join in the “process”.

So, what do they want to accomplish with all this? Distract the attention of the everyday issues people do care about? A sudden change of strategy for the 16-D elections, given that the comandante presidente won’t campaign? Or perhaps they just really want to change the Constitution to change one little article in particular?

Amanecerá y veremos… Meanwhile, I’ll pull off one from the Mitchell & Webb files:

“What do you think about this issue? Do you have any thoughts? What are those thoughts? Will you tell us them? Any thoughts at all will do. If you have’em, we want to hear them.”

P.S. I’ll take on the other elephant in the room (the communal power) in another post.

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  1. My read is that their number one objectives are cementing and expanding their non revolution. Given that, their greatest risk of failure is in the non continuity of power of their leaders, what with both chavez and castro on the brink.

    I see an almost cultist fervor of imposing the form of government in which they believe, by all means necessary, though opting for the least radical means possible. This latter part being the key in their elaborate democratic disguise, or as Mars Attacks nutshelled, “We come in peace.” “Don’t run. We are your friends.”

    So, my bet is they will try to follow rules as close as possible in changing them them to allow them to maintain power by the rules, but do not be fooled by these rule-following exhibitions; it’s an armed non revolution…

  2. I find it bizarre that a government which ignores its own existing laws and constitution is so obsessed with legislating new ones. I think it must come from some pre modern idea of the president’s that if you write it down, it exists.

  3. Yup! Ya got it right.

    Article 233 of the Bolivarian Constitution:

    “Cuando se produzca la falta absoluta del Presidente electo o Presidenta electa antes de tomar posesión, se procederá a una nueva elección universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta días consecutivos siguientes.”

    It’s that simple. Hugo Chavez is dying. Is there any doubt, especially after this? This should be the primary focus of the opposition,….right now. Stop this change to the Venezuelan Constitution, and there will be another election very, very soon.

  4. Even you guys were invited to go to the meetings from what I understand and they will be still going on in other locals.

    Now I could see why you would not want to go for many reasons ( one, what else would you have to do but be cry babies about it and two, you would have to stand up in public for what you supposed to believe in) but he is not dying( any faster than the rest of us) and it could be a way to get to the communal state faster in the eyes of some in the grassroots and militants.

    Rojo Rojito


  5. Stuff OT: before you take on the comunas I suggest you read Artículo 184, numeral 6 of the 1999 Constitution.

    Your post is written from someone with the typically limited mentality of representative democracy. “We won the elections so we can do what we want” sort of attitude.

    Well, Gustavo, if you had any clue about Venezuela then you would know that this is a participatory democracy where citizens opinions are heard and debated in public. This is the reason for the meetings you mention. In addition, this is real direct democracy and not the BS you would like to see back here.

    Finally here is a big mojón for you to choke on!

    • The meetings are announced by members of the PSUV, they are called explicitly to draft a socialist plan for the nation. By those standards, the Republican party is a participatory democracy, where you are free to caucus and make your opinion known.

      And if the proposal comes to do away with elections on the ascension of the vice prescient, what will that be? Will you finally admit Venezuela is not following the path of participatory democracy, rather Leninist democratic centralism, where popular will is ignored when it runs counter to the will of the Caudillo?

  6. in this case i think cort and arturito are right — the chávez campaign program was explicitly a “proposal” and clearly says there will be meetings after the election to refine the document and create the next six-year plan. you might want to read it. i have no idea how exclusive or inclusive the meetings will be, and i doubt that the process will really be very democratic. but the existence of these meetings is just fulfilling a campaign promise.

  7. Absolutely. my point is that it is hardly impressive to have consultative meetings, especially when those meetings are between people who largely agree with each other. The Republican party has caucuses and meetings where their party platform is voted on. Their candidates are selected via primary, Chavez appoints his. It makes it all the less impressive given that Chavez has a history of ignoring what the grass roots want, and doing anyway what has already been rejected.

  8. In today’s Universal (14/11/2012), the V.P. used the terms “Constituyente”, “Nacional” and “Asamblea”, but not together. My fear is that they use “Asambleas de Ciudadanos” whose decisions are binding(Article 70, CRBV), to say they formed an “Asamblea Nacional Constituyente” that rewrote the Constitution, and shove it down our throats (Article 349). If this were an honest government, I wouldn’t be afraid, but as we’re dealing with people with questionable scrupples, well…


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