Pro-Chavez Deputies Rebuke Fellow Deputies of Venezuela’s National Assembly

After five hours of discussion the Socialist Block in the Venezuelan National Assembly resolved Thursday to disallow parliamentary deputies Luis Tascón and Iris Valera from speaking on behalf of the Block.

By Kiraz Janicke – Venezuelanalysis.com
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Caracas, September 7, 2007 (venezuelanalyis.com) – After five hours of discussion the Socialist Block in the Venezuelan National Assembly resolved Thursday to disallow parliamentary deputies Luis Tascón and Iris Valera from speaking on behalf of the Block. The decision was made in connection to a press conference by Tascón and Valera on Tuesday, where they defended deputy Francisco Ameliach, who had resigned as head of the Socialist Block on August 26 and refused to recognize his replacement by deputy Mario Isea.

The statement, which was read by President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Cilia Flores, during a press conference Thursday said, “As socialist deputies we have the commitment to contribute to the discussion of the constitutional reform and the construction of the PSUV [Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela], with the best participatory spirit, guaranteeing the success of our political organization and popular victory in the constitutional referendum.” For these reasons, she continued, “privileging collective activity and team work, which characterizes the United Socialist Parliamentary Block, we reject the individual positions assumed by deputies Luis Tascón and Iris Varela, which does not reflect our position, our unity sentiment, nor are they authorized to speak in the name of the deputies that form the United Socialist Parliamentary Block.”

The statement was signed by all members of the 149 strong Socialist Block (including Ameliach), except for Valera, who was out of the country, and Tascón, who refused to sign asking, “What about the right to diversity?” before walking out of the meeting.

Ameliach resigned from his position as head of the Socialist Block on August 26 after a meeting with the newly established “provisional discipline tribunal” of the PSUV (headed by Diosdado Cabello) in relation to comments he made calling for the possible resurrection of the Movement for a Fifth Republic (Chavez's former party) in time for regional elections next year, were deemed harmful to the formation of the new party. Ameliach has assured that his resignation was his “own decision” and retracted his comments about the MVR.

“The declarations that I gave to the media generated confusion among ex-members of the MVR, who are today aspiring to participate in the PSUV,” Ameliach said. “The MVR was a successful electoral apparatus, but it was incapable of converting itself into a programmatic and organic force and impeded ideological formation,” he continued during the press conference. Ameliach also said he committed an “error” in sending a “draft document” to President Chavez last week, raising concerns over the formation of the PSUV.

According to an article in El Nacional, the “draft document,” signed by 144 deputies, including Tascón and Valera said that many of the socialist batallions of the PSUV had not reached the necessary quorum of 100 and that participation was closer to 16% of the original 5.7 million who signed up to be members of the PSUV, as opposed to the 25% claimed by Vice President Jorge Rodriguez. Tascón denied that the deputies who signed the document wanted to revive the MVR.

Tascón and Valera also said there was an opposition campaign against the parliamentary deputies, supported by some sectors of the pro-Chavez sector. In support of this claim, Tascón argued, “You never see [opposition private TV station] Globovisión criticizing [Miranda Governor Diosdado] Cabello.”

During the meeting, Vice-president of the National Assembly, Roberto Hernández, argued for Tascón and Valera to be called before the discipline tribunal of the PSUV.

Flores assured that the Socialist Block was not calling for Tascón and Valera be sent to the discipline tribunal of the new PSUV. “We don't have the capacity to sanction them,” she explained. For that reason the Socialist Block had decided to produce a public letter rejecting their positions. If the National Promoters Committee wanted to call Tascón and Valera to the discipline tribunal that would be up to them, she added. However, it has was reported in El Nacional that Chavez has ordered the closure of discipline tribunal after it has finished dealing with the case of Ameliach.