2017 Constituent National Assembly

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Constituent National Assembly

Asamblea Nacional Constituyente
Logo of the 2017 Constituent Assembly of Venezuela.png
Type
Type
Leadership
President
First Vice-President
Elvis Amoroso, PSUV[1]
Second Vice-President
Structure
Seats545
2017 Constitutional Assembly of Venezuela diagram.svg
Political groups
     Great Patriotic Pole / pro-government (503)[2][3]
     Vacancies (42)[4]
Meeting place
PalacioLegislativo2 fixed.jpg
Palacio Federal Legislativo, Caracas

The Constituent National Assembly (Spanish: Asamblea Nacional Constituyente; ANC) is a constituent assembly elected in 2017 to draft a new constitution for Venezuela. The assembly also has constitutional supreme power above all other institutions in the republic.[a] Its members were elected in a special 2017 election that was condemned by over forty mostly Latin American and Western states.[6][7] The Democratic Unity Roundtable—the opposition to the incumbent ruling party—also boycotted the election claiming that the Constituent Assembly was "a trick to keep [the incumbent ruling party] in power."[8] Since the opposition did not participate in the election, the incumbent Great Patriotic Pole, dominated by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, won almost all seats in the assembly by default.[9][10][11]

After the assembly was elected, the body convened for the first time on 4 August 2017, despite criticism from the aforementioned parties and from the regional trade bloc Mercosur.[7][12] As part of it first acts, the assembly elected former Foreign Minister and Minister of Communication Delcy Rodríguez as its president, though she was appointed Vice President of Venezuela on 14 June 2018, leaving the position vacant. Former Vice Presidents of the Republic Aristobulo Isturiz and Isaías Rodríguez as its vice-presidents.[13]

On 8 August 2017, the Constituent Assembly declared itself to be the government branch with supreme power in Venezuela, banning the opposition-led National Assembly from performing actions that would interfere with the assembly while continuing to pass measures in "support and solidarity" with President Maduro.[14] On 18 August 2017, the Assembly gave itself the power to pass legislation and override the National Assembly on issues concerning “preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic and financial system” [15] and then stripped the National Assembly of its legislative powers the following day.[16] The opposition-led National Assembly responded, stating it would not recognize the Constituent Assembly.[17]

Members[edit]

Nicolás Maduro Guerra, son of President Nicolás Maduro, beside Carmen Meléndez during a session

Presidential Commission[edit]

Member Party Previous position in Bolivarian Government
Elías Jaua PSUV Minister of Education
Diosdado Cabello PSUV Former President of the National Assembly, briefly President of Venezuela and deputy
Adán Chávez PSUV Minister of Culture
Isaías Rodríguez PSUV Venezuelan Ambassador to Italy
Aristóbulo Istúriz PSUV Minister of People's Power for the Communes and Social Movements
Hermann Escarrá PSUV Government Advisor and Constitutionalist Advocate
Earle Herrera PSUV National Assembly deputy
Iris Varela PSUV Minister of People's Power for the Venezuelan Penitentiary Service
Noelí Pocaterra PSUV Secretary of Indigenous Peoples and Communities of Zulia
Cilia Flores PSUV National Assembly deputy, First Lady of Venezuela
Delcy Rodríguez PSUV Minister of Foreign Affairs
Francisco Ameliach PSUV Governor of Carabobo

Others[edit]

Other members include:

Actions[edit]

The Constituent Assembly's first meeting in the Salon Eliptico of the Federal Legislative Palace.
Fidel Vasquez reading from a folder with Chávez eyes during a Constituent Assembly session.
Edificio La Francia, administrative seat of the Constituent Assembly.

Prior to assembling at the Federal Legislative Palace, members of the National Constituent Assembly carried large portraits of Hugo Chávez and Simón Bolívar, placing them in the palace to show support for the Bolivarian government.[20] Assembly President Delcy Rodríguez also declared that the new assembly would commence work on 5 August 2017.[13][12]

Removal of government opposition[edit]

The Assembly voted on its first day of work to remove the nation's Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz and named Tarek William Saab as her replacement.[21]

President Hugo Chávez told us that as long as imperialism existed, the Bolivarian Revolution would always be threatened, that is why we must achieve political hegemony, which is not a dictatorial hegemony, but to create awareness.

Aristobulo Isturiz, Vice President of ANC[22]

On 8 August 2017, the Constituent Assembly declared itself to be the government branch with supreme power in Venezuela, banning the opposition-led National Assembly from performing actions that would interfere with the assembly while continuing to pass measures in "support and solidarity" with President Maduro.[23]

Tarek William Saab, the Chief Prosecutor appointed by the Constituent Assembly, announced on 16 August 2017 that former Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz and her husband, German Ferrer, operated an extortion group and a day later, the Constituent Assembly ordered for their arrest with the couple fleeing to Colombia.[24] Ortega and Ferrer fled from Venezuela by speedboat to Aruba and flew into Colombia, with Ortega stating that the Bolivarian government would "deprive me of my life".[25]

On 18 August 2017, the Assembly gave itself the power to pass legislation and override the National Assembly on issues concerning “preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic and financial system” [26] and then stripped the National Assembly of its legislative powers the following day.[27] The opposition-led National Assembly responded, stating it would not recognize the Constituent Assembly.[28]

In an Al Jazeera interview with President of the Constituent Assembly Delcy Rodriguez, Rodriguez stated "I denied and continue denying that Venezuela has a humanitarian crisis", saying that it would justify international intervention in Venezuela. She also described statements by Venezuelans calling for international assistance as "treasonous".[29]

On 11 October 2017 days before the Venezuela's regional elections, President Maduro stated that governors elected will only remain in power if they are subordinate to the ANC, telling voters that "everyone who votes ... recognizes the power of the Constituent National Assembly, because it is what convenes and organizes (the election)".[30]

Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission[edit]

Law against Hatred, approved unanimously on 8 November 2017.

President Maduro announced on 6 August that the Assembly had created a Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission to investigate the protests, with Delcy Rodríguez presiding over the commission.[31] The panel was set up on 16 August 2017. Rodríguez stated that opposition candidates of the October gubernatorial elections would be investigated to make sure they were not involved in violent protests.[32]

About 268 people had been arrested as political prisoners by the Maduro government by December 2017, according to a non-governmental organisation.[which?] Delcy Rodríguez, head of the commission investigating the protests, announced the release of 80 prisoners around the time of Christmas.[33]

2018 presidential elections[edit]

The Constituent Assembly barred three of the most influential opposition parties - Justice First, Democratic Action and Popular Will; from participating in the 2018 Presidential Elections. It ruled that the parties who boycotted local elections in December 2017, had lost legitimacy, requiring them to reapply for legal status and potentially barring them from the presidential elections.[34]

Public opinion[edit]

A Hercon survey in August 2017 found that 78.7% of Venezuelans had a negative opinion of the ANC while 16.6% had positive thoughts about the assembly.[35] A November 2017 poll by IVAD showed that the majority of Venezuelans did not recognize the Constituent National Assembly, with 61.4% of respondents agreeing with the phrase that the constitutional body was "illegal and illegitimate".[36]

Recognition[edit]

Map of countries who recognize ANC
     Venezuela      Approve      Disapprove      Neutral

Over 40 countries stated that they would not recognize the National Constituent Assembly.[6] The European Union[37] and the Holy See[38][39] have also not recognized the legitimacy of the assembly. Following the establishment of the ANC, Argentina,[40] Colombia,[41] France[42] Peru,[43] and the United States[44] have characterized the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela as a dictatorship.

President Nicolás Maduro's allies — such as Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria[45][46][47] — discouraged foreign intervention in Venezuelan politics and congratulated the president and recognized the results of the election.[48][49][50]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to the 1999 Constitution of Venezuela, "The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elvis Amoroso designado como primer vicepresidente de la ANC". Ultimas Noticias (in Spanish).
  2. ^ Delcas, Marie (5 August 2017). "Au Venezuela, l'opposition dénonce " l'installation d'une dictature "". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Resultados Electoral Constituyente 2017". National Electoral Council of Venezuela. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  4. ^ "ANC perdió al menos 40 de sus constituyentes". Aporrea.org (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  5. ^ Article 349 of the Constitution of Venezuela (1999)
  6. ^ a b "La lista de los 40 países democráticos que hasta el momento desconocieron la Asamblea Constituyente de Venezuela". Infobae (in Spanish). 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Venezuela: New assembly leader warns 'justice will come'". 4 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
    "As Venezuela unrest spreads, Maduro presses on with plans to rewrite charter". Reuters. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
    "Venezuelan gov't proposes constitutional assembly election on July 30". EFE. 4 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
    "40 countries protest Venezuela's new assembly amid fraud accusations". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Venezuela opposition boycotts meeting on Maduro assembly, clashes rage". Reuters. 2017-04-08. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  9. ^ Mogollon, Mery; Kraul, Chris (29 July 2017). "As Venezuelan election nears, more upheaval and cries of fraud". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  10. ^ "What are Venezuelans voting for and why is it so divisive?". BBC News. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  11. ^ Bronstein, Hugh. "Venezuelan opposition promises new tactics after Sunday's vote". Reuters India. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
  12. ^ a b "Venezuela ushers in new pro-government chamber as opposition struggles to regroup". The Washington Post. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ a b http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article165394067.html
  14. ^ Goodman, Joshua; Sanchez, Fabiola (8 August 2017). "New Venezuela assembly declares itself superior government branch". Associated Press. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  15. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN1AY1VM
  16. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/19/venezuela-crisis-deepens-maduro-strips-opposition-held-parliament-power
  17. ^ "Asamblea Nacional reitera que no acatará sentencia de la Constituyente cubana". La Patilla (in Spanish). 19 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Venezuela opens disputed new constituent assembly". BBC News. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Earle Herrera renunció a su cargo como presidente de una comisión de la ANC". Tal Cual Digital. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  20. ^ "¡La guerra de los retratos! Regresan fotos de Chávez a la Asamblea Nacional #4Ago". La Patilla (in Spanish). 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Tarek William Saab Appointed as Venezuela's Attorney General". teleSUR. 2017-08-05. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
    [1]
  22. ^ "Istúriz: Hay que lograr la hegemonía política para vencer al imperialismo". Globovisión (in Spanish). 22 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  23. ^ Goodman, Joshua; Sanchez, Fabiola (8 August 2017). "New Venezuela assembly declares itself superior government branch". Associated Press. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  24. ^ "Luisa Ortega 'fearing for her life' flees to Colombia". Al Jazeera. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Deposed Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega flees country in dramatic speedboat journey". The Daily Telegraph. 19 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  26. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN1AY1VM
  27. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/19/venezuela-crisis-deepens-maduro-strips-opposition-held-parliament-power
  28. ^ "Asamblea Nacional reitera que no acatará sentencia de la Constituyente cubana". La Patilla (in Spanish). 19 August 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Delcy Rodriguez: No humanitarian crisis in Venezuela". Al Jazeera. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  30. ^ "Maduro vocifera que constituyente cubana decidió que ningún gobernador ejercerá "si no se subordina"". La Patilla (in Spanish). 11 October 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  31. ^ "Venezuela sets up truth commission to probe protests". Indo-Asian News Service.
  32. ^ "Venezuela 'Truth Commission' to Investigate Opposition". Reuters.
  33. ^ "Venezuela frees first of 80 political prisoners in show of good will". France24.
  34. ^ "Venezuela presidential election: Nicolas Maduro's government blocks opposition candidates from competing". The Independent.
  35. ^ "2 Estudio Nacional Teléfonico Inducido Hercon a2017". Scribd. Hercon. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  36. ^ "Venebarometro Diciembre 2017". Scribd. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  37. ^ "Países de la Unión Europea no reconocen la Constituyente y piden suspender su instalación". La Patilla (in Spanish). 2 August 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  38. ^ "Vaticano pide suspender la Constituyente por hipotecar el futuro y fomentar clima de tensión". La Patilla (in Spanish). 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  39. ^ "Vatican urges Venezuela's Maduro to suspend new legislative superbody". Reuters. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  40. ^ "Macri dice que Nicolás Maduro es "obviamente" un dictador - CNN Video". CNN. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  41. ^ Clarke, Rachel (5 September 2017). "Colombian President: Venezuela a 'dictatorship,' but US military action is a bad idea". CNN. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  42. ^ "El presidente francés califica de dictadura el régimen de Maduro". La Patilla (in Spanish). 29 August 2017. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  43. ^ "PPK: Gobierno de Venezuela se ha transformado en una dictadura - CNN Video". CNN. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  44. ^ "Treasury Sanctions the President of Venezuela". United States Department of the Treasury. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  45. ^ "Cuba and Nicaragua Confirm Support for Venezuela at UN". 21 June 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  46. ^ teleSUR/mrs-RT-sg. "Bolivia, Russia Defend Venezuela's Constituent Assembly". Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  47. ^ "Syria congratulates Venezuela on successful election of the Constituent Assembly – Syrian Arab News Agency". sana.sy. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  48. ^ "Bolivia's Evo blames Amalgro for US Intervention". Telesur. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  49. ^ "Venezuela: Where is the condemnation?". 4 July 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  50. ^ "Central American Nations Congratulate Venezuela After Elections". 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.