There is a maxim that I have grown tired repeating over and over: "constitutions are only as good as the people who apply them". Venezuela is the perfect example of bad to really bad people applying a constitution already quite deficient in its elaboration. As a direct consequence we can read, for example, this week that Norway will close its embassy in Caracas and move its regional representation to Bogota.
Why would Norway maintain an embassy in a country that has become economically irrelevant and which does not even bother having a residing president? Colombia next door is booming, is politically relevant and offers continuously improved security.
There is one culprit for all that: Venezuela may have a new Constitution since 1999 but for all practical purposes it is not applied, or applied at convenience while all real power has been vested in the army which has gained more power than in an outright dictatorship without ever bothering to make a coup.
Thus Venezuela, courtesy to a deficient Constitution and a corrupt personnel, has become a "democracy" where people vote for a status quo that includes the country having become a major narco state controlled by the military. No law abiding country such as Norway, which ranks as the 7th least corrupt country in the world, will have anything to do with Venezuela which now ranks as the 9th most corrupt country in the planet. If we read the words of the general comptroller we know we may still become the most corrupt country. According to her, and "independent" voice previewed in the 1999 Constitution, that perception of Transparency International is based on lies because they only pay attention to anti Chavez media. Naughty, naughty! Apparently she is not aware of what happens in Venezuelan ports or that the only people in Venezuela pursued for corruption are from the opposition, just to mention two major items. Another flaunted and failed constitutional prerogative.
The general comptroller Adelina Gonzalez is not the only "bad people" around, she is not even legal as the National Assembly has decided not to name a legal comptroller and she is just an acting one. More bad people, violating a bad Constitution.... At this point we have to face the harsh reality that the 1999 one has been all along a fraud.
The biggest constitutional violator has been Chavez of course, but this past two weeks he has made his case worse. His yet unexplained unaccounted absence in Cuba where for all practical purpose may mean he is finally croaking allows us once again to see how irrelevant the Constitution is, and was written as we are forced to read in details such painfully contradictory articles as the now infamous 233. But I will not go into the mess that a Chavez death before January 10 would leave us. How the actual presidency is managed these days is more interesting.
Since Chavez needs Maduro as the foreign minister as he is the one in charge of all shady deals with ALBA et al., that one has retained that post when he became vice-president. But he should not have because the very idea of a vice president in 1999 was that the president absence for whatever reason was supplied automatically by the veep. When Chavez had to leave last week in the middle of night on a stretcher (?) for Cuba Maduro was in charge. But he had to travel later to a UNASUR meeting. So what did they do? They created the figure of temporary vice president which exists nowhere in the constitution and placed one of the most faithful and lackluster minister to it to make sure that the newly appointed vice president would not get any ideas..... Now there is an unavoidable summit of MERCOSUR and it looks that not even Maduro is going to go.
In short you can see that not only the constitution of Venezuela is of no better use than bathroom paper but in addition its non application is also directly responsible of the current degradation of the country, morally and materially. I think that even in times of Gomez and Perez Jimenez the fake constitutions then received more respect that then one of 1999 is receiving at the hands of the thugs and thugettes in charge.