On March 10, the Venezuelan National Assembly passed an enabling law that allows the country’s president to act to protect the peace against recent threats made by the United States government of Barack Obama, especially the March 9 statement that declared Venezuela a “threat to the national security” and calling the situation a national emergency.The bill received 99 per cent of votes from the Great Patriotic Pole alliance, the largest voting bloc in the National Assembly, that holds 98 of 165 seats, or 59.4 per cent of seats. It will now move to a second reading for final approval. According to Venezuela’s constitution, 60 per cent of the National Assembly must approve an enabling law, and the purpose behind the law and its time frame must be clear.
President Nicolás Maduro addressed the National Assembly on the afternoon of March 10 after the draft legislation was submitted, saying the country’s parliamentary elections must go on in spite of the gravity of the threats made by the Obama administration. “We are going to parliamentary elections to let the people decide what will happen in this country,” he said. “And we will go into it with the same position as always… If we win, we win, and if we lose, we lose and that’s it … Democracy, peace and constitution is what we want.”
During his speech, the president also thanked the Latin America and the Caribbean nations which have expressed support to his government against the constant attacks of the United States.
Speaking earlier on national public television, Maduro explained that the proposed law had been written together with Deputy Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz in order to preserve Venezuela’s “integrity, sovereignty, in the face of any circumstances that could arise with this imperialist aggression.”
Maduro also reported that various executive bodies had discussed actions “to politically and diplomatically denounce this United States aggression to various organizations,” in order to prove the illegality of the U.S. decree.
President Maduro had previously requested an enabling law in 2013 to fight corruption and the economic warfare being waged by business and opposition sectors.