Chavez Revokes Intelligence Law to Make Clear Path for New One

The National Law on the Intelligence and Counterintelligence System, which has stirred much controversy, was officially revoked on Wednesday, via a law-decree, the same mechanism by which the law was originally passed.

President Chavez promised, though, that the National Assembly will revise the law and pass it at a later time, perhaps sometime next year. Chavez’s 18-month authority to pass laws by decree expires in July.

Opposition and human rights groups had vehemently criticized the law because, among other things, it required citizens to cooperate with intelligence agencies when they requested information. Chavez himself admitted a mere week after signing the law that this particular article was indeed “indefensible” and would require a re-writing of the law.

The law as it was originally passed would not stand because his government is “a government of human rights, a socialist government that does not persecute, does not accept persecution, nor will it persecute anyone,” said Chavez on Tuesday.