Santa Elena, March 11th, 2015. (venezuelanalysis.com)- In response to US president Obama’s use of an executive order to sanction Venezuelan authorities, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro requested decree powers to pass an “anti-imperialist law to prepare for all scenarios.” The National Assembly voted by majority their approval this on Wednesday morning.
The bill, which must be approved by 60 percent of the Assembly according to Venezuela’s constitution, will now move on to a second reading to obtain final approval.
In the past, the Obama administration has condemned Maduro for using decree powers to pass legislation, stating that “the separation of powers…are essential elements of democracy.” In contrast, Mr. Obama’s executive order by which Venezuela was labeled “a threat to [US] national security” did not require approval from any legislative body.
Venezuelan law mandates that it must be specified to what end the enabling powers will be used. In this instance, Maduro wrote the proposal together with the deputy attorney general, Reinaldo Muñoz, to preserve the country’s “integrity…[and] sovereignty, in the face of any circumstances that could arise with this imperialist aggression.
The Venezuelan president last requested enabling powers in 2013, to pass a series of laws aimed at reducing corruption.
During this morning’s address, president Maduro ordered Venezuela’s armed forces to drill in “defensive military exercise” this Saturday, and invited the participation of people’s militias and the general public.
“Venezuela must be prepared, we must preserve (the country) as a land of peace,” he said.
In addition to the drills, the head of state promised to protect the integrity of the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“I ask god for protection, if major events shake our country- with me alive or not, the order is rain or shine, parliamentary elections will happen this year whether the empire wants it or not. …Let the people decide what will happen in this country,” Maduro said before the Assembly.
“And we will go into it with the same position as always… If we win, win, and if we lose, lose and that’s it … Democracy, peace and constitution is what we want.”
UNASUR & ALBA
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa announced yesterday that representatives of the Union of South American States (UNASUR) will meet tomorrow in Uruguayan capital Montevideo to prepare for a presidential summit next week in which the question of US interference in Venezuela will be discussed.
At next week’s summit, Correa told reporters, the bloc “will give the corresponding answer to that gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference by the United States in the internal affairs of Venezuela.”
For his part, UNASUR Secretary Ernesto Samper condemned the White House decision yesterday evening, saying “I don’t think it is good for a country to impose unilateral sanctions … the Venezuelan affairs have to be resolved by the Venezuelan people.”
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a trade bloc founded by Hugo Chavez and known by its initials ALBA, also released a statement Tuesday evening.
The categorizing of Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to US national security “constitutes an unprecedented aggression against that country and thus our region,” the statement reads.
“This aggression violates every principle of international law which governs relationships between states, treating every state as equal and sovereign.
It also undermines the historic anti-imperialist struggle claimed by our people, and threatens the peace and tranquility of our countries,” says the document, which was upheld by the 12 Latin American and Caribbean member states that make up the bloc.