By Peter Koenig
2 August 2017
Venezuela has voted on 30 July for a National Constituent Assembly (ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) with a resounding close to 8.1 million votes, or over 41% of the total eligible electorate. The figure was confirmed by the president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena. The Chavistas battle cry before the elections was Venceremos! – Ché Guevaras favored revolutionary slogan. And the day after, 31 July, the victorious Ganamos! Accompanied by dancing in the streets.
To counter the mainstream presstitute mass media slandering of Venezuela, calling the legitimate democratically elected President a dictator, and that the vote was illegitimate and against the present Venezuelan Constitution – lets explain upfront what the Constitution says:
Article 347 of Venezuela’s constitution:
“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”
Article 348 states
“(t)he initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”
Article 349 states
“(t)he President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.”
The process to vote for the ANC is complex but highly democratic. The 30 July election chose 545 members to the National Constituent Assembly, of which two thirds (364) were elected on a regional or territorial basis, and one third (181) by sectors of professions or activities, i.e. students, farmers, unions of different labor forces, employees, business owners – and so on. This cross-section of people’s representation is the most solid basis for democracy. See also http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-venezuela-in-the-white-houses-crosshairs/5594240.
The 8.1million pro-ANC vote may, at first sight, with 41% of total eligible voters not constitute an absolute majority, but they are a legitimate majority analyzed from different perspectives. The only historic data we currently have on Venezuela is the one from the 1999 Constitution (still valid today), which President Hugo Chavez Frias, elected in 1998, initiated after asking the people whether they agreed to the drafting of a new Constitution. He received an overwhelming 80% support.
Assuming that on average about 20% to 25% of the electorate do not vote (based on the past 19 elections since the Bolivarian Revolutionary Government took over in 1998), of the 20 million eligible electorate, about 15 million could be expected to vote. With 8.1million ANC supporters, the National Constituent Assembly resulting from the 30 July elections is a clear majority, about 54%.
The election result is another resounding victory, when compared to the opposition’s plebiscite, illegally held a week earlier. The opposition claims having received 7.2 million votes against the ANC. However, by all observers, including internationals, this is a highly questionable and probably vastly inflated figure, based on their election boots which were a fraction of those of the ANC election process countrywide. Plus, the announced result cannot be checked, as the voter’s bulletins were burned by the opposition, as soon as they informed the public of the plebiscite’s result. However, even assuming this figure was correct – which it most likely isn’t – the total alleged votes cast between de official ANC process and the illegitimate referendum would amount to 15.3 million, of which 8.1 million represents about 53%, or an absolute majority of the votes cast.
For analysis sake, let’s just look at the curious composition of votes the oppositions claims having received. In their referendum people had to respond with yes, or no to three questions, with each one being a leading question against the ANC. Each one of the three answers counted for one vote, thus, there were up to three votes per person. The same people also were allowed to vote in several districts. During the press conference held by the opposition, a journalist asked whether it was correct that one voter could cast his / her vote 17 times. The answer of one of the directors was yes, but it may be discovered at the final count. There were also stories of 10-year old kids and other minors voting. Also, there are 101,000 eligible voters abroad – but according to the opposition, the votes received from Venezuelans living outside Venezuela were almost 700,000.
The illegitimate – yes, illegitimate – opposition vote is pure farce. Though it can never be checked, since the votes were burned and given the above details, the promulgated results of 7.2 million votes against the ANC would have to be discounted by at least 30% to 50%. Yes, illegitimate, as the Constitution does not allow interference from anybody, once the ANC process has been launched.
Curiously though, the opposition, having the majority in the National Assembly could have initiated themselves an National Constituent Assembly. They didn’t. They could have actively participated in President Maduro’s ANC vote and presented their own candidates as they would have, had they respected the principles of democracy. They didn’t do that either. It is clear, they are not interested in a democratic process. They are not interested even in dialogue, one of Mr. Maduro’s priorities for conflict resolution. They want a violent ‘regime change’ – that’s what their Washington masters want and pays them for.
The most vociferous critics of the process came from the usual villains, CNN, BBC, Washington Post, NYT, even The Guardian, but so far relatively few from the EU and her members. One of the countries that sticks out most with her unsolicited comment is “neutral” Switzerland, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on President Maduro, to cancel the elections for the new National Constitutional Assembly in ‘respect of democracy’. It further declared through the Swiss state-run radio-TV station, SRG, that the elections were illegal, as they are against the Constitution – which is a blatant lie, the Swiss Executive is aware of, but it pleases for sure Washington.
The Trump Administration also said it would not recognize the vote and slammed more heavy sanctions on Venezuela, among them, blocking President Maduro’s alleged ‘assets held in the US’. This in itself is a massive and ridiculous propaganda falsehood. It must be clear to any dimwit, that President Maduro does not have assets in the US. Washington forced ‘sanctions’ will probably also follow from its European vassals.
The right-wing puppet leaders (sic) in Latin America have of course also immediately played to the tune of their northern masters. The first one to do so was Peru’s President Pablo Kuczynski, saying that his government would not recognize the result of the elections. But who cares what Peru thinks about sovereign democratic Venezuela? – His arrogance went as far as calling upon the Peruvian Prime Minister to form a committee that should look into possible actions Peru could and should take against Venezuela. If one knows the level of corruption that literally runs Peru – one of the worst, if not the worst of all Latin America – and the way Kuczynski was ‘elected’, or rather shoed in by his Washington Masters, one can just chuckle in disbelief. If there was any un-bought, uncorrupted functioning legal system in Peru – the last five consecutive Presidents would now be in jail for corruption and crimes against humanity, including the present one.
Of course, Colombia and Mexico, among the staunchest vassals of the northern empire were also accusing Venezuela’s ANC initiative as being illegitimate, anti-democratic, for the sole purpose of allowing President Maduro to become a dictator and to bend the new Constitution so that he may stay President for life. None of this is of course intended or in the cards, or indeed allowed under the Constitution and the National Assembly still in place. In fact, according to the Constitution, neither the President or the National Assembly which is not being resolved or replaced by the new National Constituent Assembly, have a right to interfere in ANC’s process of drafting a new Constitution.
On a recent visit to Mexico, the ultra-right-wing (Tea Party) CIA chief, Mr. Pompeo, pledged for both Mexico and Colombia to help assure that the situation in Venezuela is being corrected. Let’s not forget, Colombia’s President Santos (the latest Peace Nobel Laureate!) has already several months ago asked Brussels to send NATO troop to Colombia. They may already be there. With a 2,200 km porous border between Colombia and Venezuela, infiltration of Colombian and NATO troops into Venezuela would not be complicated (http://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/5575480).
Among the few but strong supporters of the ANC and which called for the world to respect this legitimate and democratic process, were Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Iran, China and Russia. Others may follow. So far Brussels has only been mumbling. What remains to be seen is how these countries, notably Russia and China, would react, when it comes down to the wire with a possible CIA / US / NATO instigated coup à la Maidan, in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2014.
Why did President Maduro call now for a National Constituent Assembly to modify or redraft the current Constitution? – The answer is simple. Dictators around the world, like France under Macron, the UK under Mme. May, and probably soon Germany under Mme. Merkel, would call for Martial Law to clamp down ‘legitimately’ on the peoples’ rights and carry through their atrocious militarization and austerity programs, as well as to ’selectively curtail foreign influence’.
President Maduro, instead, follows democratic principles to the core. The purpose of a new or reality adjusted Constitution has precisely to do with foreign interference to the detriment of Venezuela’s economy. They include outside orchestrated food and medical supply shortages; from Miami manipulated black-market vs. official exchange rates, ruining local purchasing power, thereby causing inflation and a sagging economy; foreign news networks deadly propaganda; and infiltration of foreign trained, armed and funded violent terror groups to help organizing the relatively small Venezuelan elitist opposition to cause havoc and civil unrest – as we have seen over the last several months in the runup to these ANC elections. The US State Department funded NED – National Endowment for Democracy – is a key sponsor of violent opposition in Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in the world. The new or adjusted Constitution is expected to allow the government to sovereignly control its borders and its economy with whatever means it has to take to keep the criminals out and regain full sovereignty.
These vicious foreign supported groups have cost the life of some110 people during the last few months leading up to the ANC vote, through the most horrendous acts of terror, including lynching, burning alive, shooting, looting of shops, attacking and destroying schools, public infrastructure, police headquarters and more. There is no end to the list of heinous crimes committed by the so-called opposition – which is nothing else as a tool for the Washington tyrant-in-chief, who will not let go until he has achieved ‘regime change’.
The presstitute doesn’t present this real picture of things. They portray the violence and dead toll as the government’s responsibility. In fact, thanks to the diligence of national police and the 200,000 military forces deployed throughout the country in the last couple of weeks to protect the population, the voters, in the leadup to the elections, violence and dead tolls were kept in check. Violent outbreak would have most likely been even more atrocious without the military deployment.
A new puppet government would return Venezuela to the pre-Chavez years – or most likely much worse – giving away Venezuelans world’s largest hydrocarbon deposit is to US petrol giants and torturing Chavistas and anybody who had in the past opposed and still opposes the violent undemocratic, oppressive servile-to-Washington elite.
What’s next for Venezuela? – Well, it’s not over. The National Constituent Assembly is just the first step. The rabid bulldog will not let go. He keeps attacking and biting relentlessly and without merci sovereign democratic and un-obedient Venezuela. The steady internal foreign instigated economic and social decay, the build-up to what prompted President Maduro to initiate the ANC vote, was very reminiscent of the fascist 9/11/1973 CIA instigated military coup in Chile.
The Chile coup was also preceded by artificially and outside instrumented shortages of food and medical supplies – paying people to protest in the streets. The only difference there is that the Chilean army was split and high ranks defected President Allende. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Venezuela. – The overwhelming people’s support for the ANC has further cemented the solidarity within the Bolivarian Republic – and given the revolution new energy. Venezuela will prevail. Venceremos!
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.