[DEBATE] : Democracy prevails, the Bolivarian revolution continues: Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network statement
critical.montages at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 04:08:23 GMT 2007
On Dec 3, 2007 1:26 PM, peter waterman <lsifuentesore at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is surely ignificant that in its lengthy consideration of the narrow
> defeat for the Chavez constitutional reforms, this analysis does not even
> mention the elements that would implicitly prolong the Presidential period
> and power of Chavez himself.
> This smacks not of analysis, nor of an identification with the people of
> Venezuela (particularly the Chavez voters who stayed at home), but of
> apologetics for a personalistic leader, an ideology, a regime and a party
> (in formation).
> I look for and expect less slavish and more intelligent analyses in the
> coming days.
> The Left, with I enthusiastically amongst them, used to mouth this kind of
> facile state-dependent rhetoric about Cuba. But that was almost 50 years
> ago. What, if anything, has been learned?
> Peter Waterman
Chavez needs to understand that those who agree with him on A, B, and
C don't necessarily agree with him on X, Y, and Z. Some of those who
disagree with him on X, Y, and Z may eventually come to agree with him
later, but others may continue to disagree with him, contrary to his
hope (expressed in his post-referendum remark that the reform proposal
is still alive, though it is defeated for now, and that he won't
retract a single comma from it), and those who do not accept all
articles of the reform proposal are not necessarily
Some of the articles in the reform proposal -- the shortening of the
working day, social security for informal-sector workers, and
prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation -- should
raise no controversy among leftists, and they are the ones that the
Chavez government can implement without putting them to a referendum
during the rest of Chavez's term.
Others, however, are very much debatable. What is most debatable is
not what the corporate media focused upon the most -- the removal of
term limits (which many states do not have in any case) -- but an
attempt to write an exception to the Constitution into the
Giorgio Agamben says: "The state of exception establishes a hidden but
fundamental relationship between law and the absence of law"
("Interview with Giorgio Agamben -- Life, A Work of Art Without an
Author: The State of Exception, the Administration of Disorder and
Private Life," 5 German Law Journal No. 5, 1 May 2004,
<http://www.germanlawjournal.com/article.php?id=437>). That is
everywhere the case in modern states, but it is seldom made explicit
as in the case of the Constitutional Reform proposal just voted down
Venezuela's Constitutional Reform: An Article-by-Article Summary
November 23rd 2007, by Gregory Wilpert – Venezuelanalysis.com
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Section VIII. Constitutional exceptions: Right to information no
longer guaranteed during state of emergency, emergencies to last as
long as the conditions that caused it.
Art. 337 - Change in states of emergency, so that the right to
information is no longer protected in such instances. Also, the right
to due process is removed in favor of the right to defense, to no
forced disappearance, to personal integrity, to be judged by one's
natural judges, and not to be condemned to over 30 years imprisonment.
Art. 338 - States of alert, emergency, and of interior or exterior
commotion are no longer limited to a maximum of 180 days, but are to
last as long as conditions persist that motivated the state of
Art. 339 - The Supreme Court's approval for states of exception is no
longer necessary, only the approval of the National Assembly.
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