By Luis Manuel Aguana
By empire of the Constitution Deputy Juan Guaidó is from the first minute of today January 10, 2019, Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Charged by constitutional order. Article 233 of the Constitution is clear: “…When the absolute absence of the President-elect occurs before taking office, a new universal, direct and secret election shall be held within the following thirty consecutive days. While the new President is being elected and takes office, the President of the National Assembly shall be in charge of the Presidency of the Republic”.
Consequently, no agreement by Parliament appointing the President-in-Office of the Council has been reached because the corresponding legal extremes have been given in the face of the “absolute lack of the President-elect”, which is precisely the case of Venezuelans. Nicolás Maduro Moros was tried and sentenced and as if that were not enough his election is not recognized by the countries that make up the Lima Group, so there is Absolute Absence of the President-elect before the fact of elections not recognized nationally and internationally.
If to this we add respectable opinions such as those of former Attorney General of the Republic, Jesus Petit Da Costa, in his article entitled “Guaidó amanecerá el 1OE como encargado de la Presidencia de la República” (see in Spanish http://jesuspetitdacosta.blogspot.com/2019/01/guaido-amanecera-el-10e-como-encargado.html) and those of former UN Ambassador Diego Arria (see https://twitter.com/Diego_Arria/status/1083211653854969856) where he argues that Guaidó’s Presidency occurs automatically, here is a picture of inevitable confrontation in the country and of an outcome that perhaps did not believe that those who organized the National Assembly to run the wrinkle of the regime with the so announced Statute for the Transition would have closer.
In my last note (see Next at bat, Legitimate TSJ, at https://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_73.html) stressed that the National Assembly had suspended with that agreement the application of Article 233 of the constitutional text, arguing that “that norm was designed for situations of institutional normality, in which the decisions of the National Assembly are respected and abided by those who exercise the power of force under the rule of law: the National Armed Forces and State security organs” (see full text of the Draft “STATUT LAW REGULATING THE TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE VALIDITY OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA” in https://tinyurl.com/ydbyeb87). In other words, compliance with the Constitution is conditioned according to the criteria of the jurists who drafted it. In this case, if we don’t have the strength to apply the principles of law, then we don’t comply with the constitution, how about that?
In this way the deputies seem to be willing to turn their backs on the Constitution. But will that be so? In my last note I did not contemplate in the analysis that Guaidó had no alternative. I don’t think he even imagined himself to be in the middle of this hurricane. Because according to the criteria exposed, that predicament was part of the attributions that came with the post if he wanted to accept the Presidency of the National Assembly.
Either Guaidó complies with the Constitution or resigns, giving way to another who does. And that is what brings me to the point of this note. My past analysis did not include an important fact that could change the course of events: the constitutional norm is obligatory to comply, even if he does not want to, and makes Juan Guaidó a prisoner of the political agreements of the majority fractions, which would cause a paralysis of his performance as a high public official, which would be intolerable in the eyes of Venezuelans.
I had indicated that he would never go against the leaders of the parties that put him there, but in the face of the dilemma of not complying with the Constitution, things get different. The Lima Group, in urging Maduro to “respect the powers of the National Assembly and provisionally transfer executive power to it until new democratic presidential elections are held” (see Communiqué of the Lima Group, at https://elnuevopais.net/2019/01/04/el-grupo-de-lima-no-reconocera-el-nuevo-periodo-del-regimen-de-maduro-comunicado/) screw Guaidó to receive that responsibility. Will that coalition of parties be willing to ignore that resolution of the Lima Group that gives full support to the National Assembly and the Supreme Court of Legitimate Justice in exile to do the constitutionally correct?
If the parties that took him to the Presidency of the National Assembly and Guaidó himself consequently do not know his own condition as President in Charge of the Republic by the rule of the Constitution, it is better for them not to wait for the regime to close the Parliament, they would be doing it themselves, leaving the way free for the legitimate TSJ to proceed to the designation of a National Emergency Government to fill the vacancy left by the omission of the parliament, already “self-suicided” by its own clumsiness.
But if Juan Guaidó himself rises above that politicking that has done so much damage to us and above those who have placed him in that predicament, recognizing the truly historic moment that the country is living and his own life as a politician, being by the force of circumstances, and like no other Venezuelan, at the right time and in the right place to provide a service to his country, then we can say that he deserves to be called President of the Republic and will have the decisive support of all the Venezuelan people.
Caracas, January 10, 2019