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BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA NATIONAL DEFENSE COUNCIL The National Defense Council, duly called today and presided over by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, in his capacity as Head of State, in accordance with the mandate and the powers provided for in Article 323 of the Constitution and under the Organic Law on National Security, on the occasion of the controversy arisen between the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court of Justice, has resolved: 7. To ratify that the Constitutional Division of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic is the appropriate authority to oversee the constitutionality of the actions taken by any other body of the National Public Power which may collide with the Constitution, as well as to resolve any conflicts between the Branches of Government. 8. To urge the Supreme Court of Justice to revise decisions 155 and 156 for purposes of maintaining institutional stability and the balance of the Branches of Government by using the resources provided for in the Venezuelan legal system. 9. To reaffirm that imbalances and conflicts among the various Branches of Government are channelled through constitutional oversight mechanisms and cooperation between Branches of Government, which are an expression of the dynamism and plurality of democratic constitutional States. 10. To highlight the commendable efforts undertaken by the President of the Republic, in his capacity as Head of State, who sought to settle, within the constitutional framework and through constructive dialogue, conflicts between the Branches of Government with due consideration of their independence, division and autonomy. 11. To insist in our willingness to maintain a fruitful dialogue and urge the Venezuelan opposition to join without delay the national dialogue promoted by the Head of State, which is accompanied by UNASUR, Pope Francis and former Presidents Martin Torrijos, Leonel Fernández and Rodríguez Zapatero. 12. To strongly reject any intervention attempt against independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and self-determination. Venezuelan affairs are to be solved exclusively by Venezuelans, without any foreign interference or intervention whatsoever, and with strict respect for the internal jurisdiction of the Venezuelan State. The strength of the democratic system in Venezuela and its robust Rule of Law is not in discussion or in question. On the contrary, it evidences the Constitutional Rule of Law, social justice and peace constructed in a country that has turned participatory and protagonistic democracy into a vehicle for the transformation of society and, in the words of our Liberator, the search for “the greatest possible happiness.” “…only democracy is susceptible of an absolute freedom, freedom that is defined as the power every person has to do whatever is not prohibited by the law.” Simón Bolívar Caracas, March 31st, 2017

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