Español








Very usefull links



Petroleumworld
Bookstore



Institutional
links


OPEC



 


Petroleumworld
Business Partners

 



IRAQ OIL THE FORUM


Blogspots
recomended

caracas chronicles

Gustavo Coronel

Iran Watch.org

Venezuela Today

Le Blog des
Energies Nouvelles

 

 

Editorial-Opinion

 

 

Gustavo Coronel : Venezuela's Maduro:
illegitimate in origin, illegitimate in exercise

 

I believe desirable to summarize the reasons why millions of Venezuelans feel and believe that the Castro-inspired Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro is illegitimate. Political legitimacy has two main components: Origin and Exercise. Origin refers to the manner the actor arrived in power. Exercise has to do with his, her degree of loyalty to the constitution and laws of the country, degree of respect to all citizens and quality of governance.

As a common citizen, with a basic knowledge of the Venezuelan constitution and of the events that have taken place during the last months I would like to analyze these reasons.

1.- Legitimacy of Origin

I believe the presidency of Nicolas Maduro is illegitimate of origin because of four main reasons:

(a), The constitution was violated when Nicolas Maduro was allowed to be put in charge of the presidency, since this task should have been performed by the president of the National Assembly, according to Article 233 of the constitution. The naming of Cabello was blocked for political reasons, probably due to Cuban pressure, for fear that Cabello would take over. We must remember that at this moment Nicolas Maduro was Executive Vice-president, this position arbitrarily extended by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, since Chavez, the only person who could name him a such, was unable to take the oath. In fact, he was probably dead by then ( a death certificate has never been issued).

(b), While Maduro was put in charge of the presidency, he still did so as Executive Vice-president in charge of the presidency, according to Article 236 , numeral 3 of the constitution. As such he could not be presidential candidate, according to Article 239 of the constitution. However, in an act of prestidigitation by the corrupt Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Maduro was magically transformed into President in Exercise, a job which does not even exist in our legislation. In this manner he abruptly ceased to be Executive Vice-president in charge of the presidency to become President in Exercise and, as such, eligible to be a presidential candidate.

(c), Once a presidential candidate , Nicolas Maduro obtained victory, if we are to believe the National Electoral Council, by less than two points. The organized Opposition protested and claimed a fraud had been committed, giving details of irregularities that far exceeded Maduro’s margin of victory. Inexplicably, the Opposition progressively let this protest fade away, which did nothing to increase the legitimacy of Maduro but much to decrease the loss of support for the organized Opposition. Maduro did not bother to comply with his promise to Latin American governments members of UNASUR to recount the votes.

(d) the verification of the candidate’s Venezuelan nationality was never made, a must according to Article 227 of the constitution. To this day no one knows if Mr. Maduro was born in Venezuela or in Colombia. Both the National Electoral Council and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice have refused to comply with this requirement. The tribunal has actually defined this information as “an electoral secret”, after four Venezuelan citizens: Rafael Montero Revette, Elias Buchzer, Jose Maria Zaa and Mercedes Contreras formally requested the Electoral Council to verify this information. For seven months they waited for an answer and, when it finally came, was to say that this information could not be divulged.

Sergio Saez has told me that this failure in divulging this information could and probably should result in the removal of the bureaucrats, according to Article 51 of the constitution.

It seems evident that the negligence of the National Electoral Council and the intentional legal errors of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice on the four aspects mentioned above were part of a premeditated cover-up by both institutions. To add to the illegitimacy of the process, most members of the Board of the Electoral Council were no longer legally in their jobs, their terms long expired.

On the basis of what I have said above I find it reasonable to conclude that the presidency of Nicolas Maduro can be challenged for legitimacy of origin. Until the questions posed above are not clarified to the satisfaction of millions of Venezuelans this presidency will remain highly suspect.

But there is more, According to international experts such as Jean D’Aspremont and Eric de Brabandere, see: The complementary faces of legitimacy in International Law: The legitimacy of Origin and the Legitimacy of Exercise.


2.- The legitimacy of Exercise

In simple terms,legitimacy of exercise has to do with loyalty to the constitution and the laws of the country, with respect for all citizens, with a prudent administration of national assets and resources, with respect for human rights and with good governance and normal governability.

Is this what Maduro’s regime is all about? Or is it the opposite? I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Let us take, for example, the status of the Rule of Law in current Venezuela. I will not give a personal opinion but will quote the evaluation of 99 countries made by the World Justice Project, see : .

This evaluation was made on the basis of 10,000 polls and interviews in all the countries surveyed. The Index of Rule of Law is made up of nine factors: “1. Degree to which the government acts within the law; 2. Absence of Corruption; 3. Transparency in government; 4. Protection of Fundamental Rights; 5. Degree of Social order and Security; 6. Validity of Existing Regulations; 7. Quality of Civil Justice System; 8. Quality of criminal Justice System; 9. Informal Justice systems.

In this evaluation, the most complete in its type existing, the Nicolas Maduro government comes in the 99 th place, this is, in the last place. Such a dismal ranking allows no excuses or spin. The note of the Institute on Venezuela says:

At 99th, Venezuela is the weakest performer among all indexed countries, showing downward trends in performance across many areas since last year. The country is ranked last in government accountability, owing to an increased concentration of executive power and a debilitated system of checks and balances. Corruption is commonplace (ranking 90th overall and last in the region); administrative agencies justice system, although relatively accessible, loses positions on the back of increased political interference. Crime and violence are also areas of concern, as are the violations of fundamental rights, in particular, freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to privacy”.

What would the OAS or UNASUR have to say about this evaluation? They have supported Maduro’s regime. Would Dilma Roussef, Jose Mujica, Jose Manuel Santos or Michelle Bachelet know of the existence of this ranking? What about the parasitic governments of ALBA? A political regime exhibiting this performance cannot be defined as legitimate of exercise. This evaluation, by the way, was made before the events that have taken place in Venezuela during the last month. Such events lower even more, if that were possible, the ranking of the Venezuelan regime. See:

 

 

It should seem evident to anyone seeing the Venezuelan events, or listening to Maduro’s rhetoric charged with hatred, or observing the financial and social chaos prevailing in the country, that there is no governability in Maduro’s Venezuela.

But there is still another, powerful argument. Even if the candidate had won the elections as reported, by such a narrow margin, it would be unthinkable for him to govern as if he had won 100% of the votes. For legitimacy of exercise to exist he should recognize that almost almost half of the population voted against him. He should recognize the rights of the dissidence to participate in the formulation of fundamental national policies. He should not try to impose a revolution on half of the population.

And yet, this is precisely what he has been doing. And this why, in strict adherence to Article 350 of the Venezuelan constitution, I do not recognize his presidency as legitimate and will do my best to accelerate his ousting from power. This is also why I oppose those who, due to greed or moral cowardice, keep silent or support the Venezuelan regime.

If Dr.Pangloss could see the Venezuelan situation he could cry. When looking at the Venezuelan chaos only an Insulza can approve, only an Ortega can eulogize, only a Castro can support, only a Dudamel can keep making music, only a Dilma Roussef or a Michelle Bachelet can keep aloof, only a Danny Glover or a Sean Penn can feel enthusiastic, only friendly contractors can become sudden billionaires, only ministers such as Giordani (Planning) or Ramirez (Energy) can maintain the illusion of governing.

Note: I am grateful to Sergio Saez and Joaquin Chafardett for their valuable input to this article. Any error of interpretation is mine alone.

Follow us and post your comments: in Twitter Facebook


Gustavo Coronel
is a 28 years oil industry veteran, a member of the first board of directors (1975-1979) of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), author of several books. At the present Coronel is Petroleumworld associate editor and advisor on the opinion and editorial content of the site. All his articles can be read in Gustavo's blog. Las Armas de Coronel . Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.

Editor's Note: All comments posted and published on Petroleumworld, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of Petroleumworld. All comments expressed are private comments and do not necessary reflect the view of this website. All comments are posted and published without liability to Petroleumworld.

Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of environmental and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.

All works published by Petroleumworld are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.Petroleumworld has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Petroleumworld endorsed or sponsored by theoriginator.

Petroleumworld encourages persons to reproduce, reprint, or broadcast Petroleumworld articles provided that any such reproduction identify the original source, http://www.petroleumworld.com or else and it is done within the fair use as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated

Petroleumworld News 03/17/2014

Follow us in Twitter

And post your comments in our
Facebook site


Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback
and comments, share your thoughts on this article,
your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and
comments about this article, write to editor@petroleumworld.com

Copyright© 1999-2010 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.

We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source. Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors

Send this story to a friend Any question or suggestions,
please write to: editor@petroleumworld.com

Best Viewed with IE 5.01+Windows NT 4.0, '95, '98, ME,
XP, Vista, W7 +/ 800x
600 pixels

 


TOP


Editor & Publisher :Elio Ohep F./
Contact Email: editor@petroleumworld.com

Contact:
editor@petroleumworld.com/ phone: Office (58 212) 635 7252,
or Cel (58 412) 996 3730 or
(58  412) 952 5301


CopyRight © 1999-2010, Elio Ohep F. - All Rights Reserved. Legal Information

- CCS Office Tele
phone/Teléfonos Oficina: (58 212) 635 7252

PW in Top 100 Energy Sites


Technorati Profile

Fair use notice of copyrighted material:

Legal Information

This site is a public free site and it contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of business, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have chosen to view the included information for research, information, and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission fromPetroleumworld or the copyright owner of the material.