HAVANA TIMES — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared that the opposition’s proposal to hold a Constituent Assembly conceals an attempt to “put an end” to the country’s 1999 Constitution, DPA reported on Sunday.
“They want to put an end to the Constitution, claiming they want to hold a National Constituent Assembly,” he said during ceremonies held at the Military Academy to commemorate 76 years since the creation of Venezuela’s National Guard (military police).
Maduro stated that the opposition is intent on taking advantage of democratic mechanisms to revoke the Constitution and declared that a victory of the Chavista government at such an assembly would radicalize its socialist project.
“I’m warning the country. The Right is hatching some rather crazy plots. Plots that should be cause for concern. They’re trying to destroy the Constitution once again,” he affirmed, invoking the failed 2002 coup against the late Hugo Chavez, when an attempt to “erase it (the Constitution) in one fell swoop” was made.
The Venezuelan leader stated that the Constitution was approved in December of 1999, through a democratic referendum, and that the opposition is now “saying crazy things about holding a Constituent Assembly.”
“If the Right were to use the constitutional mechanisms created by Chavez and called a Constituent Assembly, it would meet the people head on. No one will be able to revoke this Constitution. If the fascist and corrupt Right wants to fight us using the Constitution, the fight is on,” he declared.
He pointed out that, in the event the opposition manages to collect the number of signatures needed to call the Constituent Assembly, the Chavista government will take part in the ensuing popular consultation, where, he is certain, it will win by a wide margin.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the revolution would secure a large majority of the votes at a National Constituent Assembly, and that we would therefore be able to radicalize the revolution even more,” he added.
Maduro insisted that, in the event his government won the consultation, he would push the socialist project forward more vigorously.
“This whole business of the Constituent Assembly is a game; they think it’s a game. If anyone used Venezuela’s democratic mechanisms to call a Constituent Assembly, they would run head-on into the people, who defend this Constitution,” he reiterated.
Maduro declared that the opposition wants to eliminate the Constitution, because it is part “of Comandante Hugo Chavez’ legacy.”
On Saturday, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles announced he would support the call for a Constituent Assembly, aimed at reforming public mechanisms that have been “hijacked” by the Executive.
“We need change, because things can’t go on this way. This (Bolivarian) revolution is over. We have to put this government behind us,” Capriles said, adding that “the worst thing that could happen in the country is a coup d’etat.”
Capriles challenged the results of last April’s elections, which declared Nicolas Maduro president by a very narrow margin.