Sunday, December 06, 2015

The decalogue of a new opposition (eventually?) led National Assembly

A thought exercise first. If the MUD opposition alliance gains a majority in the new National Assembly, who is the opposition? Maduro or the MUD?

This being said, when the National Assembly settles in next January which could be the initial measures that can prove new times have come, even if there a simple majority of seats?

Before the swearing in. In no particular order, as they come to mind during my morning coffee.

1) Announce the new directors of ANTV, the C-span of sorts. This network, mostly cable, is one the propaganda tools of the regime. It is also the network that the MUD can reopen to public debate and democracy from day one. Voiding this way the need to buy back one the private networks bought by regime mystery figures. ANTV would go in a few days from the least watched network to the most watched in Venezuela.

2) Announce that control of the Assembly will be all in the hands of the MUD. BUT...  offering two or three commissions to chavismo as a good gesture to start a useful debate. After the sectarian years of Diosdado Cabello at the head, that would improve the political climate greatly, nation wide. Note: that measure can be strengthened by the MUD offering these commissions chairs to PSUV representatives not associated with previous sectarian practices: folks like Cabello or Eekhout cannot chair any commission.

3) Announce before Christmas, or even next week, who will be the new Assembly chair, so as to have a forceful spokesperson to counter regime's last minute treacheries.

4) Announce that any Maduro's initiative before the Assembly is sworn in will be dead on arrival, that is, will not be funded and legally reverted. The simple objective here is to announce regime's treachery before this one is even proposed, countering from the start any propaganda effect.

5) Announce that from day one the press corps will be allowed to monitor live the debates of the Assembly. Yet announcing that the other rules of the Assembly will be kept as is for the first year (to teach the regime representatives a lesson in democracy).

And announce the first laws that will be discussed starting day 1.

6) An amnesty law. Since there is no way to have fair trials the new assembly has to assume a provisional guilty status of the political prisoners until at a later date the unfair and infamous trials can be reversed. By proclaiming an amnesty law the opposition thus in a way recognizes the sentences but also gets to free all political prisoners and even allow the return of many political exiles. Leopoldo Lopez back in the streets with his acquired Mandela status courtesy of the regime clumsiness, will be the nightmare of the executive power of Maduro...

7) A budget reform to guarantee that local financial needs are met as intended. This will strike at the heart of the regime financial muscle. Chavez had managed by all sorts of tricks to deprive the states and city halls of a large chunk of  what constitutionally should have gone to them. On one hand the regime gained a weakening of local authorities and on the other Chavez gained more direct patronage. Yes, such a measure would appear to strengthen the existing large majority of chavista governors, but it will also force then to give to their own opposition city halls the funds they require to function, a dramatic gain for some town halls that the regime has sabotaged to the extreme. Two notes: the regime should willingly sign in such a reform because it will get a more effective help from the local administrations to solve the humanitarian crisis at hand. And the governors have only one year left in their tenure so it will be difficult for them to use that windfall efficiently enough to build a reelection machinery.

8) An administrative reform of the comptrollers office to stop the practice of depriving politicians of their rights without the legal ruling in court: inahabilitaciones. Currently an obscure bureaucrat at the order of the regime can simply forbid so and so to run for election or become a public employee.

9) An anti expropriation bill. This way the recent abuses such as those of SUNDEE, Dakazo and the like will be stopped unless the regime previews a fair return before proceeding to expropriation. A way to restore a minimum of trust to bring back some investments to the country.

10) A bill to review the functioning of the expropriations done before. Those which have been a failure should be returned free of charge (and indemnity for the robbed properties?) to the owners who still want to get them back. If indemnity cannot be offered right now, at least offer them tax breaks for a few years to allow them to restart the business.

I am not including laws to revert some of the ruinous social programs. After all inflation will take care of their undoing and the regime executive privileges would force Maduro's combo to finance them at the very least through less corruption. In fact it will be cheap talk to proclaim the Assembly support for existing programs"as is". Also some unpopular measures such as the price of gas, are left at Maduro's doorstep. The common thread in the above Decalogue is to restore some trust in the battered political and economical needs of the country, to jump start what can be jump started legally through the specific constitutional powers of the assembly. The Assembly is not closing down on the regime's alleged reforms, it is building on them by correcting excesses. A fine line but a line worth threading.

And by announcing such type of laws before starting audits and inquiries on corruption would be a good PR operation, the more so that through ANTV and a reform of CONATEL, the media regulation agency, the MUD will have a way to counter the communication abuses of the regime.

Of course, if the opposition gets a 3/5 or 2/3 majority things will be simplified, and we can even foresee a regime collapse sped up through these very simple initial measures.

NOTE: I list all of these but let's not forget that there will be a full month in between the election and the swearing in, a period long enough for the regime to do enough treachery to stop some of these initiatives. A good measure on how to fight for the next thousand measures required will proceed....


  1. I would think an immediate need is to correct the distortion caused by multiple exchange rates. Best way is to dollarize the economy, otherwise peg the BF to the dollar at fair value.

    1. Unfortunately this is of the resort of the executive power. The only real influence the National Assembly may have on that is in restoring the Central Bank autonomy but this is a longer process that cannot be achieved as fast as those listed in the blog entry. Certainly announcements to that effect will have their repercussions, but the Assembly cannot do it on its own.

  2. Ronaldo2:01 AM

    That is a good start but I would add restoring freedom of the press quickly.
    Also openness in government funds is essential. At a minimum, this will find and slow corruption.

  3. per #7 ... where does the money come from ?


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