***The new constitution calls for the vast overhaul of Venezuela's political institutions. Among the most important changes: · The president's term is extended from five to six years, and the ban on immediate reelection for a second and final term is lifted; The Senate is eliminated, leaving a single chamber National Assembly which will have 166 members; The president can dissolve the National Assembly if it rejects his appointment of a vice president (a new position) three times; The country's name is changed from the Republic of Venezuela to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in honor of 19th century independence hero Simon Bolivar, a change originally opposed by the Constitutional Assembly but reinserted at Chávez' insistence; Civilian oversight of the military is reduced by eliminating the right of congress to vote on military promotions (giving such power to the president), and soldiers gain the right to vote; News organizations are required to publish "truthful, opportune and impartial" reports-a clause critics say could lead to press censorship; Social security benefits and free health care and education (including university) are guaranteed to all Venezuelans; Housewives win the status of workers and qualify for social security benefits, including a $169 monthly check when they reach retirement age (article 88 of the new constitution calls them "creators of added-value riches and social well-being"); The government's ownership of shares in PDVSA is given constitutional status, but some private investment in the oil industry is permitted.
In January the Assembly ratified Chávez' choice of Diego Castellanos, a former economics professor and head of the Foreign Trade Bank, as the new president of the Central Bank. Little is known about his policy inclinations and he is expected to broadly follow Chávez' directions. The appointment only served to emphasize critics' concerns that the new constitution seriously undermines Central Bank autonomy.***Source
To: Cincinatus' Wife
Christopher Toothaker ?
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson