June 12, 2011
by Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
June 12, 2011
A document sent to The Real Agenda and that supposedly is a draft of a bill now being discussed in the Venezuelan Congress compiles a list of the most draconian measures ever seen in Latin America. The document called “Proyecto de Reforma Constitucional: Leyes Socialistas para Venezuela“, is said to be circulating among assembly members is labeled as a preliminary draft law under discussion in the National Assembly.
The document which is split in several sections, addresses issues such as private medicine and insurance companies, private education, identity and civic activities, private banking, communications, private property, currency, economy, religious practices, social practices, and others.
Regarding the issue of private medicine, the document intends to expropriate buildings and equipment from current private healthcare providers by paying them only 5 percent of the property’s market value in government bonds with a maturity of 20 years. Additionally, all private life insurance businesses will be closed and all their staff will be left out of work and with no right to a pension.
On private education, the draft bill states that all education will fall under the control of the State. All students will wear military looking apparel while attending school. It will be composed of red shirts, blue pants with a side legend that reads Bolivarian Republic and a red beret hat. While most school courses will be maintained as they are, some will be changed to give room to new ones related to “Socialism in the XXI Century”.
Under the Private Education section, the document also includes a call to socialize all property:
“Authorizing the homeless families to occupy “second homes” starting with the apartments and houses located on beaches, including those located in Clubs and then moving to the ones in urban areas.
Home owners will be forced to open their houses to families composed of no more than three members who will occupy one room in the house, reserving one room for three members of the original property owners. Property owners will be obligated to share common areas of the house with the new members.”
The draft bill also talks about issues related to citizenship and civic activities. Under the new guidelines, all citizens would receive a new identification document. Previous forms of identification will be invalidated. Anyone and everyone who participated in activism against the current president and the Venezuelan government will be denied and ID and will be considered rogue opposition to the National Assembly, the President and the Government. In addition, the parental rights of anyone under the age of 21, will be shared between the birth parents and the State.
On the matter of private banking, the Venezuelan proponents of the draft legislation intend to make all private bank workers employees of the State. The currency known as the Bolivar will change its denomination “eliminating the last tree zeros” from it. Citizens who have assets in foreign countries will be mandated to bring them to Venezuela. Having done that, no one will be allowed to own more than 7 million Bolivares in currency. All surpluses will be confiscated by the State.
When it comes to communications, cable television and other satellite based technologies will be reserved only to the State. Cell phone services and Internet access will be made exclusively available to the State. People will not be able to own or rent any of the services mentioned above. All personal computers must be registered with the State, and the government will nationalize all media in order to form one single network for the broadcast of government produced information bulletins. Current media owners will be paid 5 percent of the value of their businesses in the form of government bonds with maturity of 20 years.
In the section dedicated to private property, the document says all private property will be nationalized. “The land will be owned by the State, which through INTI will give the land to new occupants such as farmers and peasants who can not sell it, mortgage it or transfer it in any way.”
Regarding the Armed Forces, the bill proposes the creation of a popular militia which will progressively replace the current Venezuelan military force in a GESTAPO style force. All state and local police will be consolidated into one force under the power of the State. Military service will be mandatory for both men and women who will begin their service at the age of 17. These new soldiers will be available to support Venezuela and its allies such as Iran, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia in any conflict they may take part in.
On the economic front, people who hold foreign currency will be punished with prison sentences. It will be prohibited the holding of bank accounts abroad. All kinds of credit and debit cards will be eliminated within the country and for transactions overseas. “The State will impose the use of food cards to be used in Mercal. Also, the government will impose the minimum wage for all staff in state’s payroll: workers, professionals, technicians and others alike. The State prohibits the practice of professions to anyone who refuses to serve the state.”
The document ends describing limitations to religious and social practices. It says it will be prohibited to wear clothes that go against morality and decency such as miniskirts, bathing suits “thongs”, very pronounced cleavages, tight pants, etc.). All professionally played baseball and other sports will be under the control of the State. The government will restricts imports of luxury goods such as whiskey, appliances, luxury cars, etc. Also, it will be illegal to wear or spread pictures and articles that depict “imperialist influence” in all public institutions; among them Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse.
Currently, Venezuela’s Socialist Party -Hugo Chavez’ party- dominates the National Assembly, which is why it is not hard to believe that a draft bill such as the the one making the rounds in in the National Assembley now would not be approved. The document containing the reforms ends with a typical Bolivarian call: Patria Socialismo o Muerte (Socialist Land or Death).
Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez has manifested his approval of the current draft bill en several publications saying: “This is new, we are sowing the seeds of socialism. Only socialism will be a true democracy. In capitalism, democracy is not possible,” said Chavez before dismissing polls that according to him try to confuse people by separating democracy from socialism. “Democracy will never be a capitalist system, ” he added.