Archive for January 20th, 2007

The Hidden Enabling Bill

January 20, 2007

On Friday the Miami Herald had this article (Thanks M.) that suggested there was more behind the Enabling Bill that the Government was proposing. Given the good reputation of the reporter that wrote the article, I called a few reporters and within an hour I had a copy of what he described. I was planning to write about it on Friday, but then Petkoff in Tal Cual wrote the Editorial below, which is really a list of what the Attorney General’s proposal says and I decided to just translate that, however, Friday was a rough and tiring day and it is only now that I have the energy to complete it.

One needs to ask why the Government and the National Assembly continue to have a hidden agenda on these matters. As I suggested earlier, what has been said is quite limited and not really important to the true objectives of the Government. In true Dictatorial fashion, Chavez did not say what he was planning to do if he won and continues to hide it from the people in order to protect his popularity. This text is supposed to be included at the last minute next Tuesday, right before the approval of the Bill. Some democracy!

The Hidden Enabling Bill by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

The draft of the Enabling Law that the Executive sent to the National Assembly is only an appetizer. The true content of what Chavez will be enabled for is in this project elaborated by the Attorney General of the Republic that still has a chance of being incorporated in the second discussion that will take place on Tuesday at the National Assembly.

Here we present some extracts of this document in which the ten statements that already appear in the exhibit of motives that the Parliament approved yesterday in its first discussion are extended, point-by-point and law-by-law.

We can say, then, that this is the Enabling Bill that hides behind the Enabling Bill.

On the economic and social scope:

—To dictate norms that preserve the social function of property, in their diverse forms and classes, developing the concept of social and collective property, according its limitations and restrictions within the framework of the constitutional values and principles and applying (sic) the new emerging realities on matters economic functions, organizational structures for production and new mechanisms for barter.

—To dictate norms on the matter of expropriations that simplify administrative and jurisdictional procedures, guaranteeing speed, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency in the subtraction of property, as well as the protection of the rights of those being expropriated as well as the general interest.

—To dictate norms of regulatory character on the matter of foreign investment, directed to the industrial and endogenous development, and to the transformation national technology regulating the resolution of controversies with respect to the sovereignty and to the impossibility of declining national jurisdiction.

—To dictate norms that regulate on matters related to strategic minerals, establishing parameters for their exploration, extraction, use and commercialization.

In the financial and taxation areas:

—To dictate norms that make possible the creation of binational or multinational funds for the development of programs of joint financing between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with two or more States.

—To dictate norms that allow the Fund for National Development (Fonden) to grant guarantees, to issue securities titles and conducting financial operations that imply indebtedness with the prior authorization of the President of the Republic.

—To Dictate norms in the area of the public finances, oriented to the construction of the new socioeconomic regime consecrated in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, orienting the execution of excess income originating from the Law of Economic and Special Allocations derived from Mines and Hydrocarbons as well as the Law of the Intergovernmental Fund for decentralization, among other sources of financing for popular participation, with the intention of strengthening it and the equitable distribution of the resources to the communities, for the execution of its programs of endogenous development.

—To dictate norms that regulate the management system of national assets, as part of the financial management system of the State.

—To dictate norms that regulate the activities of financial intermediation developed by banks, directed to rationalize their profits benefits, orienting it as a productive and non-speculative system. Also, to promote the investment for the endogenous development of the country, democratizing credit and the free access financing, generating conditions of equality for its request, processing and granting. Also, to establish conditions that allow and stimulate the participation of new forms of association for the development of banking and insurance activities.

—To Dictate norms that establish a system of regulation, control and supervision of the tangible assets of the Fund for Guarantees and Deposits (Fogade), where these can be identified in all their extension, establishing transparent mechanisms for their sale and guaranteeing their keep, custody, maintenance, protecting the general interest of the depositors of the national banking system.

—To dictate norms that allow to re-dimensioning of the figure of the Central Bank of Venezuela, with the aim of fitting it within the socioeconomic regime consecrated in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

—To dictate norms that help the diversification, optimization and harmonization of the Venezuelan tax system, with the object of increasing the effectiveness of tax collection, to stop the existence of unproductive assets, to modernize tax control and to improve the activities of the Tax Administration.

—To dictate norms that establish a fiscal policy of general and special contributions, proportional to the income of people and legal entities and in accordance with budgetary necessities.

In the area territorial distribution:

—To dictate norms that define the geographic spaces that define (sic) the National Bolivarian Project for Development.

—To Dictate norms that allow to regulate the processes of promotion and creation of establishments of communities in the national territory, in accordance with the outlines established in the territorial planning of the country which stimulates the integral human development based on values and social forms, oriented to allow the formation of a new citizen and to construct a new society, in the terms established in the constitutional text.

In the area of security and defense:

—To dictate norms for the organization and operation of the National System of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence.

—To dictate norms for the implementation of operational zones of the integral defense of the nation.

—To dictate norms that allow the mobilization of the National Armed Forces in the assumptions that are specifically anticipated, without the need to declare a state of emergency.

In the area of popular participation and the social voluntary military service:

—To Dictate norms to establish the mechanisms of participation, social control and socio technical inspection of organized communities in the application of the legal, economic and social ordering of the State, providing with the legal instruments for the permanent means for the population to participate, evaluates and control public management in all their manifestations and the accomplishment of the essential and nonessential assignments, executed or not by public or private entities.

—To dictate norms directed to the democratizati
on of Popular Power, creating an organizational structure that allows the legitimate exercise of this Power, whose representation must have a direct and immediate identity with the community that it represents. In such sense, these norms must grant attributions to the Communal Councils, in the matter of planning, administration, management and control of the resources and in the execution of the inherent projects to endogenous development.

(Finally, Petkoff also notes that the Attorney General proposes changing Article 2 of the Enabling Bill so that NOBODY outside Government personnel participates in the elaboration of the Decrees/Laws issued under the Enabling Bill. How about that!)

Wisdom from the autocrat/dictator

January 20, 2007

Chavez says: “We will proceed with massive nationalizations if it is necessary…I don’t think (we will nationalize other companies). It will depend. Processes are dynamic. If those private companies, national or multinational do not understand the process and want to sabotage it, we will nationalize them, no matter what they are”

My take: This is the version of the muzzle law applied to the media, but in this case to the whole Venezuelan private sector, either you become submissive and do what the Government says or else we nationalize you. Clearly, when companies continue making a profit in the future, the private sector will be mostly nationalized unless you are or get an Argentinian or Brazilian partner.

Chavez says: “CANTV used to wiretap me, they were owned by north americans and thus they used them”

My take: Of course, he does not have to prove anything, he is Hugo Chavez. A few months ago he was threatening CANTV with nationalizing it if it did not pay what the Court said it had to pay pensioned workers (The Court had not even ruled how much!). Since the Court ruled and CANTV paid, he needs other excuses to justify the nationalizations.

Chavez says: “O Globo…(the Brazilian media conglomerate) is the enemy of the people”

My take: That’s Chavez concept of democracy: either you support him or you are a coupster, oligarch, enemy of the people. O Globo should be glad they are not in Venezuela, their concession would have expired last year if not earlier.

Chavez says: “Democratic Senator Harry Reid got it all wrong” in reference to the Democratic Majority leader comment that Chavez represents a threat to the US.

My take: So far it has been Bush that is the enemy, come 2008, if it’s Hillary, she will become the she-devil, if Obama, he will be a traitor to his people. Just wait!

Chavez says: “I would have to be overthrown before renewing RCTV’s concession”

Oh yeah! It’s not political, it’s not revenge, it’s the law, Chavez’ law, the only one in town.

-Chavez says (Zeta, 19-01-2007, page 9): “A President should not listen to economists”

My take: It shows, it shows, it will be his downfall.

There you have it, all in an autocrat/dictator’s day