By Luis Manuel Aguana
It is difficult to write about these issues without stepping into that grey area between the political and the legal. But you need to take that risk. And since I am only a curious observer in both fields, I will dare to get into that deep grey limbo, not only because it is necessary to look for and give the answers that the common Venezuelans require, but also because I believe that this is the solution to the serious problem we are facing in Venezuela.
On November 24, a group of Venezuelans belonging to the National Constituent Alliance, among whom I have the honor to participate, introduced an EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT RECOURSE before the Supreme Court of Legitimate Justice, based in Washington, DC., in our capacity as citizens not vested with authority (see full recourse at http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2017/11/recurso-anc-ante-el-tsjl-24-11-2017.html), regarding the activation of Articles 333 and 350 of the Constitution, indicated in the third numeral of the device of Judgment No. 001/2017 of the TSJL, which issued that High Court on 25 October 2017.
I would like to dwell a little on this fact because it is not just the initial petitioners of that first great legal step that led to the No. 001/2017 of the TSJL, that is, Diego Arria, María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma and Cecilia Sosa, widely known in the country, had the exclusivity of an approach that involves us all, but any Venezuelan invested with authority or not as established by the same sentence. This is not done in opposition to or in competition with those honourable Venezuelans, but rather in addition to this legal action with historic consequences for our country. Any Venezuelan then is – and still is – entitled to demand that.
Why do we exercise this action? The appeal formally requests the enforcement of Sentence No. 001/2017, not only for the simple fact of its necessary execution, but for something as important as the first thing: to channel the activities of constitutional restoration, generating a super extraordinary procedure that puts it in charge of the illegitimate processing of a constituent process to change the constitution and in which the citizenship, invested with authority or not, has the obligation to collaborate in the restoration of the current constitution.
In other words, not only did the High Court order the suspension of any activity tending to the recognition of the fraudulent ANC of the regime (this is what the opposition filed in the Dominican Republic intends to do), but it established with the sentence an unprecedented procedure such as the one we propose in the Appeal to restore the current constitution, making use of Article 333.
According to our reasoning set out in the Appeal introduced, the ruling made by the Supreme Court of Justice on October 25,2017 lacks a mechanism or procedure to enforce it, not only because of the condition of persecution of Magistrates in exile, but also because their very situation is caused by the violation of the regime to the same constitution that is intended to be reinstated. That is why it is indicated in the appeal that “immediate actions are required in coordination and cooperation with the various manifestations of democratic citizenship in Venezuela, to give meaning and concreteness to the ruling issued by you”. Otherwise he’d stay on paper. THE ONLY WAY TO ENFORCE THE JUDGMENT IS THROUGH A PROCEDURE THAT GIVES RISE TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF ARTICLE 333. THAT’ S WHAT WE’ RE ASKING FOR IN THIS RECOURSE.
We say there that the Venezuelan people laid the foundation stone to build a route of constitutional restoration by holding the Popular Consultation on July 16,2017, but the National Assembly, which took advantage of this rule and invoked it as the basis for a series of activities, never carried it out. But there is now the exceptional possibility that a particular court, which is not under certain threat from the regime,”may be set up to coordinate democratically with the citizens and officials of the rest of the powers that assume their duties, the necessary, urgent and effective activities to preserve the integrity of the Constitution”. That is the core of this Recourse.
As Venezuelans are well aware, the National Constituent Alliance, an expression of civil society, urged the National Assembly to immediately activate Article 71 of the Constitution by a simple majority vote of its members for the purpose of holding a consultative referendum so that the ROUTE EXPRESSED ON THE 16J, suggesting that the TSJL decide on the path of a consultative referendum for citizens (see http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/2017/11/4-preguntas-para-el-destino-de-venezuela.html).
The National Constituent Alliance has designed a roadmap set out in the proposed document “Constitutional Bases, Citizens’ proposal for Reconciliation and Change” (see http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/p/documentos-fundamentales.html) to be submitted to the countersigning verdict. The TSJL is then requested to implement it by the organized people’s hand for the restitution of the effective validity of the constitution, as a mechanism for the enforcement of Judgment No. 001/2017.
In response to our recourse, the TSJL issued a Decision to Execute the Sentence, published on November 30,2017 (see complete at http://ancoficial.blogspot.com/2017/12/auto-de-ejecucion-de-sentencia-tsj.html). After legitimizing our intervention in the case sentenced on November 25, they did not admit our petitions asking for the validation of the exposed procedure because “they were not part of the procedural debate”, but my judgment did something of greater importance: he declared valid our foundation by demanding “the activation of the civil resistance, which if it was the object of a decision” declaring the petition for execution to be valid.
In declaring the appeal to be admissible, the High Court decreed the “Forced Execution of the decision issued on 25-10-2017″ and its first consequence was to order all the Public Powers,”the prohibition of recognizing or issuing any act or actions that include a recognition of the ANC”. This closes the possibility for anyone in the Dominican Republic negotiating with the regime to admit acts based on the recognition of this fraud. And that’s why the regime is in that negotiation.
But if that were not enough -which it absolutely is not- the TSJL validated our foundation to apply the execution of Article 333 of the Constitution by any Venezuelan invested with authority or not:
“Third: With regard to the activation of the civil resistance provided for in article 350 of the Constitution, and which is requested by third parties that are part of the organization Alianza Nacional Constituyente, this Court orders that citizens, the public authorities, members of the National Armed Force, assume the duty to disregard and resist the constitutional fraud of the ANC process, authorized by article 333 of the Constitution, as established in the Constitution.
It is worth pointing out that the fraudulent process from which the ANC derives is part of the components used by the National Executive to maintain the political control of the country, which in turn constitutes an additional element that aggravates the situation in Venezuela. Because the country is mired in a deep social and economic crisis that has affected the normal life of citizens, it is appropriate to activate the civil and peaceful resistance decreed by this High Court under the provisions of Articles 333 and 350 of the Constitution, what makes it urgent to produce the changes required by Venezuela for the restitution of the validity of the Constitution and therefore of democracy in Venezuela, therefore, any exit from the crisis that is sought in the political scenario must be done within the popular participation mechanisms enshrined in Article 70 of the Constitution, and never behind the back of the people, with the primary goal of causing the immediate exit of everything that has generated the crisis through which the country is going “.
Consequently, the way out of the crisis is through the mechanisms of political participation provided for in our Constitution in Article 70 and “never behind the back of the people”. That foundation was validated by the TSJL with this historic ruling. Although it is true that they did not specifically validate the path we proposed, they did validate any path -including ours- that has the same purpose, not subjecting the failure to the specificity of our proposal but opening it to the infinite range that implies popular participation in the solution of the crisis.
This profoundly political decision has important and extraordinary implications that must be appreciated by those who play a role in the complex Venezuelan political scene, especially the international community. Our problems will not be solved through negotiations, nor through dialogue behind the backs of the people. Anything that is done in the country to resolve Venezuela’s enormous political crisis will necessarily have to pass from this historic decision, for the approval of the Depositary people of Sovereignty. My respects to the Magistrate Citizens of the TSJL. That is the kind of justice we expect in a Venezuela in freedom.
Caracas, December 3, 2017