Venezuela’s Maduro approves an “Anti-Blockade Law” that gives him greater powers

THE National Constituent Assembly of Venezuela (ANC), made up only of pro-government members, has approved this Thursday the so-called “Anti-Blockade Law”.

The “Anti-Blockade Law” annuls legal norms to give the Executive room for legal manoeuvre and little obligation to render accounts, in its attempt to circumvent the multiple economic sanctions imposed by various countries.

The legal framework, drawn up and proposed by the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, implies the confidentiality of the decisions made under the new scenario, in which the head of the Government may act without auditing the existing laws when it comes to ” measures of “economic equilibrium.”

Gives more powers to the Venezuelan Government

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 “not apply for specific cases those rules of legal or sub-legal rank whose application is impossible or counterproductive.”

The president of the ANC, Diosdado Cabello, has insisted that these cases 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.

Allows the Government to act on the country’s resources

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 world’s largest crude reserves, 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 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.

Chavista leaders reject the project

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, has indicated that neither he nor the other three governors opposed to Chavismo were taken into account in this process.

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Damon Mitchell

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As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.

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