What's going on in Venezuela?

Article by PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela)

Venezuela Parlament

1. The right wing won a majority in the National Assembly in December 2015.

2. Its principal objective since taking its seats in Parliament has been to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.

3. To do this, the right wing took FOUR months debating what should be the method to remove the President, considering at the least, the following:

-       Demanding his resignation

-       Putting him on trial

-       Declaring him mentally incapable

-       Nullifying his election because he is Colombian

-       Adding to or changing the constitution to reduce his period in office

-       Applying social pressure from the streets

-       Calling a Referendum to revoke the Presidency


4. Recently, towards the end of April, they decided to open the process of demanding a revocation.

To activate the mechanism in April, and not in January which was when half of the Presidential period in office had been reached, the right-wing did not leave themselves the time to undertake the revocation process in 2016, given that the period established by the law for this procedure is more than 260 days.

Carrying out this referendum in 2017 implies that if successful, whoever completes the remaining period of office of the then ex-president will be his executive vice president, that is a 'Chavista', who will complete the period of office until the end of 2019.

5. In these months, the National Assembly decided to reject the decisions of the Supreme Court which had annulled its unconstitutional actions. To maintain its judgements, the Supreme Court decided to annul all the decisions of the National Assembly until it no longer attempts to amend the law and respects the Constitution.

6. Despite everything, President Maduro has always called upon the opposition to join a national dialogue to resolve conflicts politically and peacefully.

He called upon UNASUR to facilitate these exchanges with the participation of ex-presidents Rodríguez Zapatero, (ex-Spanish President), Martín Torrijos (ex-President of Panama) and Leonel Fernández (ex-President of the Dominican Republic).

The right-wing placed the condition of inviting the Vatican to this dialogue, which was immediately accepted by President Maduro.

All of these efforts have so far failed as a result of internal conflicts within the opposition

7. To convoke a referendum, the right-wing has, in the first place, to obtain the signatures of 1% of those listed in the electoral register, in order to legitimise the political organisations promoting the referendum. To launch the referendum 20% of the signatures in the electoral roll have to be collected according to the Constitution.

8. The right-wing had to collect only 195,000 signatures to meet the required 1%, however it then sent the National Electoral Council (CNE) 1,957,779 signatures, of which, in the auditorium where the right-wing and the Revolution were represented, no fewer than 605,727 signatures were fraudulent, amongst which were found:

- 10,995 dead people

- 53,658 unregistered persons

- 3,003 persons younger than 18

- 1,335 persons disqualified for committing serious crimes.

 - And more than 9,000 cases of stolen identities across all the states.

9. Despite the fact than the CNE discovered these irregularities, the commission announced that the right-wing had reached the required number and it proceeded to announce the 26, 27 and 28 October for the collection of the 20% signatures, taking the precaution of submitting the previous fraudulent signatures to an investigation.

10. On Thursday 20 October, seven national courts from different Venezuelan states, examining the denunciations of affected citizens, ordered precautionary steps to be taken by the National Electoral Council to suspend all the processes which had been started after the collection of the initial 1% of signatures, having been presented with evidence of the massive theft of identities.
In complying with these instructions, the CNE suspended the collection of the 20% of signatures now required to proceed further.

11. The Right reacted by accusing President Maduro's government of carrying out a coup d'etat, but evaded taking responsibility for leading the fraud surrounding the collection of 1% of the electoral signatures.

12. On Sunday 23 October the National Assembly, in an extraordinary session, openly declared itself to be in 'rebellion' and agreed the following points:

-       It declared that the President Nicolás Maduro had undertaken a coup d'etat and broken the constitutional order.

-       It asked all international organisations to apply sanctions against Venezuela

-       In the International Criminal Court it denounced the members of the CNE and the Judges which had suspended the revocation process.

-       It sacked the members of the CNE and the Magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice.

-       It opened an enquiry into the supposed dual nationality of President Maduro with the aim of removing him.

-       It will decide whether President Maduro has abandoned his office with the aim of removing him.

13.  Question to reflect upon:

-       Who is attempting a coup against whom?

-       Is the government responsible for the fraud committed by the right-wing in collecting 1% of the electorates signatures?

-       Is the right-wing looking for a large scale foreign intervention with the excise of the suspension of the revocation process and a supposed humanitarian crisis?

-       Can a Parliament, in contempt of the law, sack the governing council of the CNE or Judges of the highest court in the land, simply because they follow the Constitution and protect the nation from a fraud committed against popular sovereignty?

-       Is it not a coup d'etat when Parliament seeks to ignore all the rights and decisions of the other Public Authorities, as well as looking for their removal by unconstitutional means?

The Foreign Ministry of Colombia sent an official note to the President of the National Assembly informing him that there was no office in its government that had any registration of Colombian nationality held by President Nicolás Maduro.

During the meeting of the National Assembly in question, President Maduro was visiting the OPEC states and others, coordinating an agreement to stabilise international oil prices, the fundamental base of the Venezuelan economy. Is this not a coup-like action in seeking to remove a President for abandoning his office when it is publicly well known that he is exercising fully his functions as Head of State?

The people in the street will defend its Constitution, its revolution and its legitimate president