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Enabling Law Grants Benefits and Power to the Venezuelan People

Congressman Carlos Escarrá

Venezuelan Congressman Carlos Escarrá, who represented Venezuela during hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights this week, stated that the Enabling Law, which grants President Hugo Chavez special powers, is aimed at helping victims of the strong rains that lashed Venezuela during the closing months of 2010.

Escarrá, who also is an attorney, said that the Enabling Law had been implemented by previous administrations in Venezuela, and  he reminded that during the terms of former Venezuelan presidents Carlos Andres Perez, Jaime Lusinchi, Rafael Caldera and Ramon Velasquez, 242 laws were decreed under Enabling Laws.

The Venezuelan congressman explained that in Latin America Enabling Laws originated in Chile and have remained on the books in countries like Venezuela, where the legal measure has been included in every version of the country’s constitution since 1945.

“The Enabling Law obeys Venezuela’s domestic system, it’s a situation of the domestic system of our country,” said the legislator.

A number of decrees to strengthen people’s power were passed through the Enabling Law, said Escarra. He also made clear that legislators from the previous term of the National Assembly (2006-2011) passed 22 laws, not 45 as claimed by attorney Pedro Nikken, who spoke of the alleged illegality of the Enabling Law during the hearing.

Additionally, Escarra said that out of the total number of approved laws, 19 were passed in first discussion between January and April 2010.

Last December 17, the Venezuelan National Assembly passed the Enabling Law for an 18-month period to assist victims of a national emergency in the wake of strong rains throughout the country. The law includes assistance in the areas of infrastructure, public services, housing and habitat, territorial planning, integral development and planing of urban and rural lands, financial and tax development, citizen and legal security and integral defense of the nation, international cooperation and the nation’s socio-economic system.

AVN / Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / March 30, 2011

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