I have to say the Venezuelan National Assembly reivindicated itself in my mind this week. You see, for two years the Dear members of that respected body did essentially nothing, since they yielded all legislative powers to Chavez so that he could pass as laws, what the voters rejected in the 2007 referendum. Then, after the Enabling Boll expired they devoted all of their efforts to campaign for Chavez’ candidates for Governor, whether they liked them or not.
The year began and once again our distinguished Deputies found themselves busy elsewhere, this time campaigning so that Chavez can be their boss forever, given that they all know they have reached way above their Peter principle and can’t aspire to any higher position.
So, it was about time they got to working and this week they certainly did in style, getting their hands dirty and doing a magnificent job on all fronts. To witt:
- Completed investigation on the large farms owned by the Chavez family in Barinas State
In an exhaustive and extremely professional investigation, the National Assembly determined that the large farms owned by the Chavez family in Barinas state were all acquired legitimately and that all accusations were unfounded. The extremely “prudent” investigation determined that despite Chavez claim to poverty, the Chavez family has always been rich or near rich and thus all of the 600,000 Hectareas of the Malaguena farm and the Chavera are perfectly legitimate and legally acquired with the Chavez family fortune. The Committee made no judgment on why Chavez always claimed to be poor and whether this represents or not mental instability, but this was not part of the evaluation. The Committee did not study either why it is that the Chavez family can own farms that are laregr than allowed by the Land Bill, but this was not part of the investigation either. Case closed. (The same committee will continue investigating where Manuel Rosales got the money to buy a car and give it away, there is simply no possible explanation for such a large purchase on a Governor’s salary)
- The National Assembly approved a new Decentralization Bill
In an effort to reign in the democratic abuses of the newly elected opposition Governors, the Assembly approved a new “Decentralization” Bill that centralizes things so that Chavez can have more power and the Governors can have less. This is essential, because a bunch of opposition (read oligarchic and fascist) Governors were somehow elected last November, together with the new Mayor of the Metropolitan area of Caracas. Thus, with this Bill, not only were many important responsibilities taken away from these Governors, but a new position was created so that Chavez can control and neutralize the newly elected Mayor of the Metropolitan area of Caracas Antonio Ledezma.
You have to understand that Ledezma is not only a capitalist, but was never in the military and thus can not be prepared to hold the position. The Assembly hopes, even if it can not pressure the President, that Chavez names the man Ledezma defeated to the position, Aristobulo Isturiz, so that Ledezma learns his lesson and never again gets himself elected democratically to any position. Even if Ledezma were elected President, Chavez would find a way of naming someone above him.
If these people can’t understand what Chavista democracy is all about, we will teach them!
- Assembly asks that OPEC should concentrate on adding new members to the organization
Finally, the President of the Energy and Mines Commission of the National Assembly held a press conference this week to urge OPEC to devote all of its time to convince oil producing countries which are not part of the organization to become members.
The idea is quite simple and extremely clever. If these countries joined OPEC, not only would the organization control over half of the world’s oil production (if Russia joined, for example), but it would help cover up all of the cheating that member countries have carried out, whenever production quotas are reduced.
You see, oil prices continue to fall, but OPEC would look silly announcing another production cut (and indeed did not cut today), when the previous ones have yet to be completed. Venezuela, for example, has complied with only half of the cut that it was assigned. If Russia joined, then the organization would get an important additional cut, even if Russia did not comply fully with its assigned cut.
The strategy is brilliant, as the new members would get really mad at the old members and talk about “moral hazard” and leaving OPEC, but we would not cut anyway (We can’t afford it!) and we can continue cheating. But in the end OPEC would produce less, and that is the whole point.
Thus, an excellent and extraordinary week for the Venezuelan National Assembly after its two year hiatus, which not only makes us proud, but which are an indication of the wonderful things to come in the near future as they finally get to work.
Maybe they should consider extending their term from six to eight years, so that they can make up for the time lost in the last couple of years. If this week is an indication, they surely deserve it. The six year term is in the Constitution, but who pays attention anyway!