WE Proposals for Constitutional Reform National Document Management We can read by Ismael GarcÍa Date of publication: 09/07/1907 A group

of people, of Venezuelan revolutionaries, socialists, we have devoted in tense hours of work, reflection, study of the constitutional reform proposal mad e by President Hugo Chavez to all Venezuelans, through the Assembly National. It 's the same group that has accompanied all the changes that have occurred since the entry into government of President Chavez, at different times, without any h esitant positions, risking what they have to risk any son of the country in diff icult times. Today, we are in the discussion as always, on the side of change, u nswervingly side with the people, fighting to ensure the greatest sum of happine ss possible. Viewing and discussing the reform proposal, first, also as usual, t hrough the lens of our principles: life, liberty, justice, equality, solidarity, democracy, social responsibility, peace, exercise democratic will of the people , who are none other than the principles of Socialism in democracy, in which we believe and we build with the people. We have said many times not to believe in the single thought, and we recognize. We claim the right of every individual, ev ery group, every group, every community and people all to be creative, to have a n opinion, to make up his dream and fight for it. Share many aspects of the prop osed reform, but we also have important differences. Plants, as always, with gre at respect, with dignity, solidarity towards the sisters revolutionary forces of which we belong, to President Chávez, acknowledging his condition, not only he ad of state, as we have done before, but also as the most important leader of th is process, and of course, the people which will continue to be the product of p olitical will. In short, it's time to start referring to the substance of the pr oposal in an attempt to contribute to the promotion of debate, but above all, to participate with the aim of obtaining, among all Venezuelans, an improvement our Constitution, so she continued with ever increasing support, being the instr ument to guide the process of change in Venezuela. PODEMOS and Constitutional Reform The most legitimate Constitution The current Venezuelan Constitution is without doubt the most legitimate of the planet. Legitimacy began to take shape from the very beginning, with a massive p opular discussion and deep, unprecedented participation and culminated with the approving vote of the people live. A legitimate constitution also the ethical, m oral, historical as by their content. She begins to collect, and embodies the fu ndamental principles, the essence of what makes human life possible in society: people power. It is true that the main reason to reform our Constitution, is to move forward on this issue. Indeed, that being the central issue of the proposal , we dedicate these initial thoughts for consideration by the People Power and P eople Power. The best reform A key criterion for judging any Constitution or any constitutional reform propos al is the geometry of power proposed. In our case, a constitution is better than another if it recognizes that the holder of sovereignty, of power, the people a nd not the State or the Government. A proposed constitutional amendment is bette r than another, to the extent you want to subtract a smaller portion of its real power to the people to attribute to state bodies, public administration, public officials. The Constitution and the people's power 99 Our own Constitution, recognized, in its explanatory memorandum, in its pream ble and its articles, the people must be recognized as the bearer of sovereignty , and that its precepts are stated in terms of limiting the power of the State a ddress the individual citizen against the front of the community, to the people,

because it means, and this is absolutely true that state power is always oppres sive, limiting the human being in the integral expression of their development a s such coartador of legitimate expressions of society. The recognition that the people are the holder of power, of sovereignty, has bee n elusive in our long chain of Constitutions. In 1999, a Venezuelan Constitution explicitly recognizes, in Article 5 that "sovereignty resides untransferable in the people" and that "State bodies emanating from popular sovereignty and are s ubject to." But of course,€in the same article in which these precepts are cont ained, provided that the direct exercise of that sovereignty is exercised by the people "in the manner provided in this Constitution ...", ie that much of the r est of the text, is going to take some of the power of the people to give to the state bodies, public administration, public officials. Not bring or transfer ... RECOGNIZE! In our present Constitution was observed trends that refuse to recognize the abs olute sovereignty of the Venezuelan people. In the current Article 158 provides that decentralization, as a national policy "should deepen democracy, bring powe r closer to the population ..." Behold, explicitly, vision, and what is worse, t he recognition, that power lies elsewhere, not the people ... and to deepen demo cracy would be closer to him. It is the vision that the owner is the State power is exercised and organs of the State, public administration, public officials. But the fact is that the reform project of that Article 158 states that "The Sta te promoted as a national policy, the active participation of the people, transf erring power ...." It's just another way of expressing the same mistaken assumpt ion. In our view, this is not to bring or to transfer ... it is RECOGNIZE! Changing the focus Recognize that the holder of power is the people in that article 158, it changes the whole perspective from which to see constitutional reform. It puts things i n place. It is understood more clearly that, in effect, the new geometry of power is base d on the recognition that its center is in the village, which is the most intere sting aspect of the proposal. It is also understood that much of the reform, a r equest that the people delegate some of their power to state bodies, public admi nistration, public officials. In no case can admit that the reform is "transferr ed" to the people the power which the state or one of its organs, is the incumbe nt. The power is sufficient and necessary Now, how much power the people may be asked to delegate?, How much power and wha t it should keep for himself? The Bolivarian Constitution in its preamble, calls the people to exercise their creative powers, with the ultimate aim of reshapin g the Republic. That is, the people must reserve for itself the power necessary and sufficient to meet this call and make a revolution. We have said in other do cuments sent to the country, pending the discussion of the Venezuelan revolution ary subject. CAN has on many occasions stated that it is undeniable that the peo ple, basically its previously excluded sectors, have become the social subject t hat can and must make the revolution in Venezuela. We oppose the idea, expressed with great force in some sectors, since the State will be the revolution. First proposal Our first proposal regarding the reform project is to definitely recognize expli citly that the people is the only bearer of sovereignty and power and that anyon e who manages any public authority to do so if not for a delegation from . That must be clearly expressed in Article 158. We must use legal reform to be establi shed ownership of the people on the sovereignty and power ... we would have to r edeem the revolutionary struggle of historical dispossession as a people we have been made that ownership.

A position from which to view the proposal But, again, we believe this is the cornerstone from which must be observed and a nalyzed the proposed constitutional reform. This is the perspective from which t o analyze the proposed changes, is the balcony from which to observe the reform and its implications. Previous consideration is where we promote and participate in the debate. Next, we want to convey some thoughts about specific content on the reform bill, drawn from the standpoint that we point out: The new political-territorial organization and the new geometry of power We agree with the basic premise that the national territory, the territorial and political purposes, is formed according to the new geometry of power (Article 1 6). Accordingly, it is perfectly acceptable, if the power is in the community, t he primary political unit is the city. Popular power is expressed in forms of se lf-government and any other expression of direct democracy. In other words, "cit izens and ordinary citizens should have the power to build their own geography a nd its own history." That is the end, with which we fully agree. But ... we will have enough power? In Venezuela, it is not people power that has historically built our geography a nd our history. There are other "real powers" other "powerful interests" who hav e done so. Because it definitely is not easy ... it takes a real power. If to ch ange things, people must exercise ownership of their power, we wonder: Why the " means of participation and involvement of people in direct exercise of their sov ereignty and for the construction of socialism", as provided in Article 70 of the proposal, including: the election of public officials, the referendum, th e popular consultation, mandate revocation, legislative initiatives, constitutio nal and constituent, communal self-management, among others, are limited, dimini shed, absent, in new political-territorial organizations?, proposed by the Presi dent of the Republic. Under the proposed Article 16: Why only the President has the power to call a referendum for the creation of the city community?, Why is t he only one who can create federal provinces, federal cities, functional distric ts, "so like any other entity established by law "?, why is the National Power w hich reserves to the assessment to create a functional districts?, why the peopl e have no choice by the authorities in the Federal Territories, Municipalities F ederal and Federal Cities? How is revoked if an officer is elected?, Who revoked ?, how the situation is reversed for special treatment? In short, we must reflec t on the delegation of powers required under Article 16. The national system of cities and the new geometry of power presents us with the following: Proposed in the amendment of Article 18 the articulation of a national system of cities. It is a fact that Venezuela is a land with deep imbalances, among other things requires that redefine the relationships between cities and their areas of influence to develop the first with the second and not exploited even depress ed, as at present . It also requires a relationship between the cities from the new spatial dynamics. We talk about unavoidable needs with which we fully agree overcome. But ... we will have enough power? The city proposed by the President of the Republic, also requires the following analysis, it is a new relationship with it's citizens, and in this sense the ref orm them by the title of "Right to the City", which we also agree. But understand this law as "the equitable benefit receipt", is no t a restricted view? He should be seen as a right to participate, to decide, to have the "power to build their own geography and its own history", as the propos ed Article 16. If this is so, if this is achieved, the "equal benefit" will foll ow. Moreover, the National Executive assumes that so far have been municipal pow

ers within the National System of Cities, we wonder why if this has been a revol utionary struggle, why if this referred to in Article 184 that proposed transfer is not no competition to the people?, why People Power seems that the proposal is reduced to the status of "associate" of the National Executive? Another important topic for discussion on the proposal of the Reformation, is th e forms of ownership and the new geometry of power In reality it is necessary to define the forms of property, and from them trying to build a production relations of capitalism than those which produce the expl oitation of man, the alienation of human beings, the concentration of power in t he hands of the owners of big business. The large property, the foundation and f unctioning of the economy, will always be defining of power. That is why, even t his issue, we should see it from the angle of the people. But ... we will have enough power? The proposed Article 115, defines public property as "that which belongs to stat e agencies, but we wonder, did the public does not belong to the People? This is how we see it: In our view public property belongs to the people, through throu gh state agencies. Why would it be backwards?, Why would the State the owner of public property and not the people? If as we propose, there are two ways to manage it: Hint, when done by the State through one of its branches, direct and, when done directly by the people throug h some of the organs of popular power. Moreover,€Why it is proposed that direct social property, has to be allocated by the state?, Why can not the people prod ucing social ownership?, Do we have a limited vision or limiting people's partic ipation in the economy? If we think that the people should participate in the na tional economy, is not thinking right intonations, he has real power in it? Both must be that power, which in a socialist society, the people would be the large st producer of ownership. There is more then ... Now it comes to property issues we mean that: While the concept of property, wha tever its form, involves the use, consumption, enjoyment and disposal. We wonder then why not let the explicit reference as the one in Article 115 of the consti tution of 1999? We propose the Country, from this rostrum that the article is li ke this today. The authorities and the new geometry of power No doubt the most sensitive aspect of the reform project is about people power. That's the power originates, the constituent power, the sovereign power. The pro posed Article 136 makes an attempt to define that power and convert popular stat e power. From our point of view, the people's power does not depend on any condi tion, whether organized or not, the ownership of sovereignty and power belongs s olely because of being the people. Therefore, rather than as depositary, we pref er to talk in this Article 136 of the people as a bearer of sovereignty and powe r. As we see, the People's Power on which they want to legislate, which wants to become established power in passage of state power is derived from the sovereig n power of the people, and represents only a part of it. It is obvious, for example, that the village still retains the constitutional po wer, whether in the reform or not. But ... we will have enough power? We are concerned that in attempting to integrate the people's power to power up is done, legally decline to People Power, and this is then used to continue the real spoils of that power. Moreover, we wonder again why the reform is recognize d to be popular only in the territory and not in the explicitly functional? If g iven the people's power: executive functions and self-government that can form, through judicial justice of peace, Citizen Power functions through the Social, w

hy is not granted voting power, for their elections and all decisions to be take n and legislative power in their areas, for example, to the approval of budgets and plans? Other questions arise to review the role of popular power in the rest of constituted power: Regarding the proposed Article 156, which establishes the jurisdiction of the National Public Power: Why the jurisdiction of "creation, p lanning and management of Federal Provinces, Territories Federal and Communal Fe deral and Communal cities, national power is exclusive and not concurrent with t he people's power?, why take away the national power resources to municipalities and states if these are the governments closest to the communities ?, why lack of resources, governments closest to the communities, reducing their ability to solve problems?, why the promotion, organization, and registration of People's P ower Councils, as well as technical and financial support for the development of socio-economic projects in the social economy is the preserve of national power and not concurrent with its own People's Power? With regard to Article 168, the Municipal Power: Why if it is established that the proceedings of the municipal ity "shall be required to incorporate, within the scope of its competence, citiz en participation, through the Councils of People's Power and means of socialist production, but, why is not the same in other territorial areas, the state, and national level? With regard to Article 185, which creates the National Council o f Government: Why if it evaluated right where community projects, there is no pr esence of the People's Power? That is, in what today is called the Council const itutionally Federal Government under Article 185 of the Constitution of 1999. And as regards Article 252, on the composition of the Council of State: Why, if it involved all branches of government, was not included to the People? The financial resources and the new geometry of power The proposed constitutional amendment takes away resources submitted state power s such as the Municipal and State Authority,€particular income is eliminated as the readjustment of the State Authority budget windfall concept eliminates the Inter-territorial Compensation Fund, contributions are eliminated by way of the Intergovernmental Fund for Decentralization (FIDES) and the Special Economic App ropriations Act (LAEE) . This drastic decrease in resources likely will decrease significantly the ability of local governments to solve problems together with communities. But ... we will have enough power? It is logical to ask ourselves, who will now handle all such resources, why have not these be managed by people power, but this also must be funded from the con stitutional along with municipal and state power? It is true that it provides in Article 184 proposed the creation of a "Fund for the financing of projects of C ommunity Councils, but, if other Councils of People's Power who have a project, or if a Commune or if the City. If communities have a project that for its size or nature agree that you run or manage a Governor or a Mayor, is not it importan t for communities to tell their resources to make these assignments? It is not u nreasonable or excessive, and therefore we propose that the People's Power manag e financial resources in the magnitudes, in the amount of which were handled thr ough FIDES and LAEE, from concepts through just and fair, by course, but again, in the same magnitude. The transfer of public services and the new geometry of power Article 184 of the reform, continues to raise the transfer of services. This tim e there are important and valuable innovations: first, align the national to loc al and regional potential for transferability, and secondly it removes the condition "and demonstrate the ability to provide" that were subject of popular organizations to receive the transfer. We share these in novations because the naturally organized people is able to take over the manage ment of public services that have to do with your direct enjoyment, including, o f course, services provided so far by the national power.

But ... we will have enough power? However, it should ask ourselves some questions, like: Why the exception of heal th services and education, if they have to do so directly with the community?, W hy when needed in the proposed "participation and ownership by community organiz ations for the management of public companies ... ", not national but includes o nly the" municipal and / or state. " The new political-territorial figures It is proposed to amend Article 16 to establish, with significant innovations, t he political-territorial organization of the country. It remains to States and t o the municipalities. But: It is proposed to re-create the Federal District, cre ated Maritime Regions, the Federal Territories, Municipalities and Federal Distr ict Island, states that the new primary political unit of the national territori al organization is the city communities are created and communes, the city commu nity and the Federal City. May be created by Decree: Federal Provinces, Cities a nd Districts Federal Functional. In total, there are 12 new regional political o rganizations, with the justification, by the way, we agree. But ... the Constitution controls its reform In Article 342 of our Constitution states that: "The constitutional reform aims at a partial revision of this Constitution and the replacement of one or several of its rules do not modify the structure and principles of the constitut ional text. " That is, the Constitution sets out in clear, explicit, blunt, what is it and what are the limits of any constitutional reform, no matter who took the initiative. This article, like any of those contained in it is obligatory fo r all Venezuelans. The constitutional principles The Constitution states what their principles, ie those that can not be changed by reform. They are contained in Title I, called the fundamental principles, whi ch includes items 1 through 9. This is the case, that Article 6 provides that th e government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and political entities that compose it is and always will, inter alia, elected and revocable mandates. For this reason, the proposal contained in the proposed reform€National Power that authorities can appoint political-territorial organizations is simply unfeasible to require a modification of the fundamental principles of our Constitution. There can be setbacks Why raise it back? The right to choose has been a struggle of humanity, and a co nquest achieved a lot of the time for action from the revolutionary camp. Today he is considered even a human right. But beyond that: "The people have a real po wer if that power does not include the full right to choose?, Where does power c ome from and the legitimacy of these officials if they are given directly by the people?, Does not violate another constitutional principle contained in Article 5, which states: State organs emanating from popular sovereignty and are subjec t? Caracas, 07 September 2007