CARACAS, Saturday November 24, 2012 | Update
INTERVIEW | Gerardo Fernández, constitutionalist lawer

"The totalitarian communal State is near without constitutional reform"

"Since 2007 the so-called parallel Constitution has been framed"

Gerardo Fernández maintains that the communal, very centralized, State, is an imposition that Venezuelans already rejected and that they will reject again (Photo: Vicente Correale)
Saturday November 24, 2012  12:00 AM
Gerardo Fernández feels that there are two Constitutions in Venezuela, namely: the Constitution approved in 1999 and another that has grown inside the defeat of Chavezism on December 2, 2007. An attorney with a specialization in Constitutional and Public Law from La Sorbonne, Fernández contrasts the differences between the principles set forth in both texts. Nonetheless, the denomination is not quite accurate in the latter case, premised on laws, decree-laws and resolutions. Hence, the government decision to create a Communal Power should come true without the need of a constituent process that could end in a new defeat.

You have affirmed, in your study of the Communes Law, that a political-territorial entity should not serve an ideology. Let me ask you -Is it possible to jump towards socialism with the current political-territorial layout? 

Imposing an ideological way of thinking by means of a political-territorial layout would be unconstitutional. That would mean that in a certain geographical site there is room only for those who embrace such imposed ideology. Consequently, the answer is no. Under the legal system in force, a socialist or communist political-territorial layout is unthinkable.

Is a different political-territorial layout necessary to impose socialism?

The political-territorial layout in a democracy neither has nor may have an ideology; otherwise, it would be excluding, discriminatory, intolerant and non-plural.

That is, if a socialist or communist political party wins an election, can it develop its program within such regulations?

You can elaborate your ideological proposal through a government action, but you cannot impose an ideology by means of a political-territorial layout, of a constitutional rank, for that matter.

If we have lived in socialism at least this is what they tell us- all these past years, what is the reason for the change? Why does the establishment need to be altered?

Because they just want to proceed to totalitarianism. A government may develop its policies according to a doctrine, yet it may not expect that everyone is to think alike and has the same ideology. In trying so, it is taking a totalitarian, overwhelming stance. The problem is that the communal State is envisaged, rather than as a mechanism that makes room for everybody, to solve the problems of the collective, as a totalitarian tool where all of us should think alike.

For 14 years we have been told that the wolf is coming. Indeed, it was, yet after advancing, it would step back. Do you think that the recent onrush marks an inflection point in the event of being successful?

Totalitarian models, according to the government, are a process, and it adds: "we need more years to complete it."

Nevertheless, revolution implies a violent, sudden, swift change. This is the case of the Cuban or the Soviet revolution. Here, "the process" has taken place step by step.

That is because neo-totalitarianism works this way. It imposes itself by cornering, colonizing geographical sites, trade unions, the judiciary, the legislature, citizens and ambits such as the educational ambit. But also, the functions of individuals and the private business are colonized; hence the expropriations, seizures and occupations. Furthermore, they move forward covered with a mantle of lawfulness and democracy. It is argued that we live in democracy. However, every so often, there are fewer media; less spontaneous civil society; fewer political parties.

Is not talking about communist regimes a slander inasmuch as the supreme end of Marxism is the demise of the State, whereas with the communal power just the opposite is pursued?

Here a parallel State is being framed. In every communist model, a central, very strong, power takes precedence over an atomized, controlled, local power.  Thus, any counter-power at the state or municipal level disappears, because belligerent state governors or rebellious mayors are annoying. Therefore, political-territorial units will vanish little by little.

You have said that the power of vote is lesser and lesser. Nonetheless, in the gubernatorial election, I wonder that such power could be used to finish off ourselves universal, secret and direct voting- and the state governors opposed to President Hugo Chávez's wishes.

There is the need to go out and vote and demand better conditions for a democratic and real voting. The way is electoral, institutional and constitutional.

What is the usefulness of reforming the Constitution, as they violate it and do what they please?

Since 2007, a legal system contrary to the Constitution, that some call the parallel Constitution, has been framed. Thus, for instance, the Constitution establishes that we live in a decentralized, federal State. However, the parallel system establishes that ours is a central, communal State. Under the Constitution, the armed forces are a non-belligerent, apolitical institution that acts only in the country interest. Nonetheless, we can see a highly politicized militia, new components and a belligerent army that acts in the president's interest.

Translated by Conchita Delgado
The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."

fotter Estampas
fotter Estampas