A bold speech by President Maduro
President Nicolas Maduro’s speech before the ANC was excellent. He defended firmly, it can be said that with love to the people, our social policy. In addition, defended the socialist course of this revolution and being loyal to the slogan of President Chávez, “commune or nothing,” said that the communes are the basis of our society. For the first time he strongly denounced the reality of the basic companies and particularly of PDVSA, and that is why he announced that he would be in charge of it directly. The brave thing, the patriotic thing was that he dared to say, that they are dominated by mafias that steal everything and that he is tired of that and he is going to defeat them. No one had dared to go that far. The president of PDVSA, at least, must resign. Another daring of the president was to request that the ministers have to go to hearings before the ANC (National Constituent Assembly). This is a pending task and the president is, responsibly, facilitating it.
In addition, he outlined the orientation for the road that the people must take to defend the revolution and to support him as president, the Open Cabildos (people assembly), which I call popular and sovereign, related to Constitutional Articles 70 and 51. On that base, I say, thousands of those Popular and Sovereign Open Cabildos must urgently take the Bolívar squares of the country to defend the revolution and request that the ANC lower prices and address the issue of the price of gasoline.
The ANC must significantly lower prices
Yes, the ANC must meet as a matter of urgency, to decree a significant reduction in prices and severe sanctions for those who violate the agreed prices. Those sanctions should include imprisonment and also, seizure of property. As a preliminary measure, the immediate occupation of the deposits of these companies must be established before they take the contraband products to Colombia. On the other hand, the ANC must make decisions so that the price reduction and regulation measures are assumed by popular organizations that have the power to confront the economic delinquents that defy the measures that the State establishes.
When prices are agreed and published in the Official Gazette, the penalties that will be applied to those who challenge them must be clearly established, which are double criminals because they accept the state subsidy that covers the cost of the salary increase and in any case increase the prices in a percentage greater than the increase of them, because they do not increase prices once, but they do it daily. It is a shame that this criminal behavior is executed with impunity by subjects who call themselves entrepreneurs. This can not be allowed. The ANC, with the backing of popular organizations and the military and police forces, has to prevent this, since it would discredit all the institutions that the Bolivarian Constitution establishes, which would mean a generalized lack of government, a daily, permanent coup d’etat. Military and police authorities and officials, who dishonor and betray the institutions to which they belong, must be immediately be expelled from this institutions. The popular complaint must have great power to prevent these criminal abuses and if the authorities do not obey immediately, due to the corruption that President Maduro himself is denouncing, the punishment must be exemplary.
On the other hand, the significant percentage of the price reduction that we have talked about will be established by the ANC in agreement with the president of the republic.
The pricing policy proposed by the ANC and the national dialogue
Another very important issue is the relation of the measures that I have just indicated with the national dialogue proposed by President Maduro. I want to say categorically that I support the dialogue promoted by President Maduro. What I am saying is that you can not accept that those who behave like criminals want to simultaneously sit at the negotiating tables to ask for dollars, government help and other business benefits, and then go out of there to keep committing crimes, to conspire against the nation and the government, which is in fact a betrayal to the people, and seek to accuse the government of violations of human rights, economic freedom, etc.
Whoever wants to participate in a national dialogue, has to respect the national constitution and all the laws, regulations and rules of the game that are transparently implemented. They can not receive preferential dollars and other perks with one hand and with the other participate and encourage the conspiracy.
And if there are public officials who become accomplices of these plays, what we have been calling the fifth column, should be considered traitors to the homeland.
The ANC and the price of gasoline
The ANC must also take care of the increase in the price of gasoline. There is a belief that this increase in prices could provoke a strong reaction from the population. The problem is that the president has repeatedly announced that measure. If there is any doubt about the popular reaction, make a quick consultation and you will see that what the people complain about is inaction and lack of definition, not that the measure is executed. I have participated in popular assemblies. I travel daily in the subway, usually twice a day and I consult in the street with many people. I consult with my colleagues at the ANC and I have not heard that opinion so far. Therefore, it seems very serious to me that this measure has been announced for month and not implemented yet and the reason is something that resembles a false belief. In any case, it should be made clear to the population.
Not implementing it means, among other things, that, unintentionally, we finance the aggression of Colombia and the costs of producing cocaine that Colombia generates the main income that sustains the general budget of that country. The counterpart for Venezuela, is that we stop receiving millions of dollars needed to solve serious budgetary problems that we have. That is, we would be helping a bloodthirsty enemy and taking it from our people, would not it? I’m not right? Then, explain it.
If this situation is true, the responsibility lies with the president’s advisers in this matter. They must explain it to the country and assume it fully.
The ANC and the elimination of the food ministry
I believe, in light of what I have pointed out and what I said in my speech on December 18 last year, before the ANC assembly, that the disappearance of the food ministry should be seriously studied. One possibility is to transfer those responsibilities to other duly trained institutions such as Sunagro, because I believe that this ministry is an inefficient duplication and I think that contrary to the popular interests and particularly of the communes, small and medium producers and that directly or indirectly, It favors the big businessmen. That must be established in a thorough investigation, directed by the ANC.
The issue of corruption has been taken by the president to confront it directly. I will wait for the steps and directions that he gives.
I must thank suggestions received from some colleagues, especially David Paravisini and Henry Navas.
Translated by JRE/AR