The National Constituent Assembly (ANC), made up only of ruling party members, approved this Thursday the so-called Anti-Blockade Law that – they assure – grants the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, the power to ignore, under confidentiality, legal regulations to face the economic sanctions imposed on his Government.
The law, called “anti-blockade for national development and the guarantees of the Venezuelan people”, was approved by the ANC, a body not recognized by several countries, after a single debate in which the 44 articles were not discussed, but rather three speakers defended the need for an urgent green light.
THIS LEGAL FRAMEWORK SEEKS TO PROVIDE THE “PUBLIC POWER” WITH LEGAL TOOLS TO “COUNTER, MITIGATE AND REDUCE, IN AN EFFECTIVE, URGENT AND NECESSARY MANNER, THE HARMFUL EFFECTS GENERATED BY THE IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS”
This legal framework is intended, according to its article 1, to provide the “public power” with legal tools to “counter, mitigate and reduce, in an effective, urgent and necessary manner, the harmful effects generated by the imposition” of financial sanctions. , mainly those applied by the United States.
According to article 19, “when it is necessary to overcome the obstacles or compensate the damages (of the sanctions)” the Executive will proceed to “inapply for specific cases those rules of legal or sublegal rank whose application is impossible or counterproductive.”
The president of the ANC, Diosdado Cabello, insisted that these “inapplications” will be made without violating the Venezuelan Constitution, although the same law establishes that its sections will have preferential action over the pre-existing legal framework.
This “anti-blocking” shielding also grants powers to the Executive for the “celebration of all acts or legal businesses that are necessary” for the protection of national assets, as well as to “prevent or reverse acts or threats” that threaten the wealth of the republic.
All this, Cabello stressed, without prejudice to Article 303 of the Constitution that orders the State to retain all the shares of the state oil company PDVSA, in charge of managing the largest crude oil reserves in the world, which the South American country has.
The law also declares “secret and reserved the procedures, acts and records carried out on the occasion of the implementation of any of the measures” that imply non-application of norms, which now formally prohibits the legislative control of the Executive and that citizens know in real time how public money is handled.
This confidentiality must be maintained “until 90 days after the cessation” of the sanctions or circumstances that have “caused the situation.”
THE LAW ALSO DECLARES “SECRET AND RESERVED THE PROCEDURES, ACTS AND RECORDS CARRIED OUT ON THE OCCASION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY OF THE MEASURES”, WHICH PROHIBITS LEGISLATIVE CONTROL
The only audit contemplated remains in the hands of the Comptroller General of the Republic, which may request a report from the Executive and, to a lesser extent, the Judiciary may “process a request” for access to these files, but through the Comptroller’s Office. The law will be in effect until the sanctions cease.
Some Chavismo leaders who have been critical of the Government in recent years have rejected this bill, considering that it “validates the delivery of the country,” or at least this is how Rafael Ramírez, who presided over PDVSA for more than 10 years.
Maduro has assured that the legislation was consulted with all regional and municipal authorities but the governor of Anzoátegui state, the opposition Antonio Barreto Sira, told Efe that neither he nor the other three governors opposed to Chavismo were taken into account in this process.