Venezuelan Council of State expects to take the oath
President Chávez entrusted it with the tasks of judiciary reform and withdrawal from the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR)
Since December 15th, 1999, when Venezuelans approved the current Constitution, the creation of the Venezuelan Council of State was supposed to be a reality. However, last January 31st, President Hugo Chávez dusted off this body. He announced, at the opening act of the judicial year, that he would submit to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) the Organic Law to reactivate this body.
Last February 15th, a law was published in the Official Gazette Nº 39,855, which states "the regulations related to the competence, organization, and functioning of the Council of State." From there on, the different State powers designated their representatives. Last week, Vice-President Elías Jaua - who is also the President of this Council - reported when he returned from Havana that Chávez would install the Council of State. The Venezuelan Head of State returned last Friday and, so far there is no information about the installment of the body.
During the opening of the judicial year, Chávez stated: "I was about to create a presidential commission to reform or deepen the reform of the court system, but, I believe it should be a task assigned to the Council of State when it is installed. It is a wide, quite diverse commission that can help fight crime."
Last April 30th, the Venezuelan leader established a second task for the Council. "I call upon Mr. Vice-President to install this Council of State, and the first thing I am going to ask them is the quick study and recommendation to withdraw ourselves from the sadly notorius IACHR. That is enough! Until when are we going to be with this sword of Damocles?"
Besides vice-president Jaua, the members of the Council are: Germán Mundaraín, former Ombudsman; Jorge García Carneiro, former Minister of Defense; José Vicente Rangel, former Vice-President; Luis Britto García, writer; Earle Herrera, Deputy for Psuv-Anzoátegui state; Roy Chaderton former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Admiral Carlos Giacoppini Martínez and Luisa Estella Morales, President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ).
The alternates at the Council are: Imelda Rincón, former President of University of Zulia (LUZ); Soraya El Achkar, President of the Universidad de la Seguridad; businessman Miguel Pérez Abad; Ambassador Samuel Moncada; Jesús Rafael Martínez Barrios, Coordinator of the Venezuelan Workers' University, Hugo Cabezas, Governor of Trujillo state; Justice Omar Mora, and Tania Díaz, Deputy for Psuv-Capital District.
The Venezuelan Constitution highlights that the Venezuelan Council of State shall "advise national interest policies for those issues that require its opinion and acknowledged by the president as of special relevance." (Art. 251)
Translated by Karen Daza
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."