Venezuela: Constituent Assembly – Yes! So Called Plebiscite – No!

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) once again calls for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Venezuela.

There is presently underway in Venezuela a strategy by the forces of reaction assembled in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) to frustrate each and every peaceful and democratic initiative to resolve the ongoing conflict in that country. These forces of reaction first rejected attempts at dialogue called for by the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro; and then amazingly also rebuffed the initiative of Pope Francis to have a peaceful dialogue. Instead of working towards a negotiated resolution of the conflict, the forces of reaction have resorted to violent protest actions in a clear effort of destabilsing the government and forcing regime change. In this they have the support of powerful external forces, of imperialism.

President Maduro, in response to this, has called into being the process of electing a National Constituent Assembly as provided for by the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Given that this process is both within the construct of the Constitution and provides for the participation of all Venezuelans by way of the election to the Constituent Assembly, this was yet another initiative aimed at peacefully addressing the conflict – this time with the involvement of citizens directly.

The reaction by the opposition has been to attempt extra-constitutional and in some instances extra legal methods. Thus, since the decision to initiate the process of the Constituent Assembly, the forces of reaction carried out an armed attack on the nation’s Supreme Court and on a Ministry building. They have now decided to boycott the elections to the Constituent Assembly and decided to hold a so-called plebiscite. The question that must be asked of the opposition is – why do they fear the process of the Constituent Assembly? Is it because they would be exposed as having less popular support than they claim?

The plebiscite by the opposition will be conducted on July 16 without any of the guarantees of transparency, accountability or rules of an election or national referendum. The lists of persons eligible, the supervision of the process and the independent verification of the results will be almost non-existent. Yet, these very basic requirements of a democratic process are being totally ignored by the forces of reaction who claim to act in the name of democracy. The plebiscite is therefore a sham.

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) once again calls for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Venezuela. We support the decision of Caricom Heads of Government who called for dialogue and offered their services in this regard. We believe that the process initiated by President Maduro for the election for a Constituent Assembly offers a democratic mechanism within the framework of the Constitution of Venezuela to establish the will of the people and therefore view the opposition’s so called plebiscite as another example of their refusal to move to a negotiated, peaceful resolution which position underpins their intent on regime change by any means, including extra constitutional and violent actions.

Movement for Social Justice

David Abdulah
Political Leader

Foro de São Paulo

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