Caracas, December 10, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Thousands gathered outside the Miraflores presidential palace on Wednesday as part of a people’s street parliament organized in response the crushing defeat suffered by the socialist government in legislative elections Sunday.
Having taken a two-thirds majority in the country’s National Assembly, the opposition is now in a position to roll back many of the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution, from repealing key revolutionary legislation to passing a neoliberal legislative agenda.
Following Sunday’s outcome, social movements have convened popular assemblies across the country in order to spark vigorous debate critically evaluating the landslide defeat and outlining the path forward for the revolution.
Outside Miraflores, those present called on President Nicolas Maduro to carry out the legislative agenda of the grassroots movements.
“We are demanding that Maduro govern with the people and that he replace executive leadership and ministerial cabinet,” said popular communicator Douglas Aponte.
“We will accompany him because the people have always accompanied him once he implements the measures we are demanding,” he added.
On Tuesday, Maduro asked for the resignation of his cabinet and outlined steps for the “renovation of the revolution”, including the approval of new legislation to defend social gains as well as measures to increase workers’ and communal control, such as the turning over the National Assembly TV and radio stations to the workers.
“We are going to have the participation of popular power in law-making, we are going to enforce the laws of popular power, which are still in on the books. They [the opposition] hasn’t taken them from us, but let them try!,” affirmed Oswaldo Rivera.
In the course of the assembly, Maduro arrived to address the crowd in an unannounced appearance.
“We will get out of this quagmire where the economic war and our own errors have landed us– where bureaucracy and corruption have enveloped the revolutionary policies,” declared the socialist leader, assuming personal responsibility for the electoral defeat.
Standing on the hood of a car and surrounded by thousands, Maduro issued a call for “critical and self-critical debate revolutionary”.
“I want a debate over revolutionary strategy in order to turn this crisis into a revolutionary crisis that allows us to experience another 4th of February, another 13th of April, a rebirth of this popular force in the Bolivarian Revolution,” he avowed, referring respectively to the failed 1992 military uprising against the oligarchic Fourth Republic and the 2002 popular uprising that reversed the US-sponsored coup against President Hugo Chávez.
Concluding his speech, Maduro invited 200 social movement leaders nominated by the popular assembly to join him for a special meeting that evening in Miraflores to plan and debate revolutionary strategy.
This Thursday, Maduro will host an extraordinary congress of the national delegates of United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which will likely culminate with the announcement of a new cabinet.
On Saturday, the president will hold meetings with the Presidential Councils of Popular Power, which are the main organs representing social movements within the government.