Venezuela Introduces Anti-Fascist Law in National Assembly

Orinoco Tribune, April 3, 2024 —

This Tuesday, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez presented a draft for the Organic Law against Fascism, Neofascism, and Similar Expressions before the National Assembly (AN) of Venezuela.

During the presentation of the bill, the vice president noted that this bill responds to the situation that has occurred in the last 25 years whereby “expressions and actions of organizations and parties of a frankly and openly fascist character have been suffered” by the Venezuelan people.

This law, Rodríguez explained, has four chapters and 30 articles as a whole. In the draft, the means and mechanisms are defined to preserve peaceful coexistence and tolerance in the face of expressions of fascism that may arise in Venezuela. In addition, the law has a section detailing the definition of fascism, neofascism, and similar ideologies for clarification purposes.

“When violence has occurred, President Nicolás Maduro has always presented the Constitution and dialogue to heal violence and hatred,” said the vice president. “He has especially asked us for our collaboration so that this bill is considered.”

In the legal text presented this Tuesday, April 2, there is also a set of measures to fight against fascism. Among the measures presented, the vice president said, is the prohibition of the dissemination of messages that promote violence as a method of political action, as well as the prohibition of political organizations that advocate fascism, neofascism, and similar expressions of hate.

Furthermore, with this bill, which seeks to strengthen the Law Against Hate approved in 2019 by the National Constituent Assembly, the creation of the High State Commission against Fascism and Neofascism is proposed, as announced on March 25.

The legal text also establishes criminal and administrative sanctions for non-compliance with the law, “creating special penalties for this matter and incorporating a special aggravating circumstance for any punishable act,” added Rodríguez.

In this sense, she recalled the events of 2014 and 2017, where clear fascist actions were executed and promoted by Venezuelan far-right forces.

In 2014, she recalled, the “La Salida” coup attempt occurred. It was promoted by the extreme right, and the violent events recorded at that time left 43 people dead and more than 800 injured.

“It is worth remembering that, for the first time, with a lot of astonishment, really, we saw how motorized men were beheaded by wired barricades,” said Rodríguez. “Just a decade ago, Venezuela witnessed situations when workers heading home were beheaded by these extremist sectors.”

She also recalled the events of 2017 which left 121 dead and more than a thousand injured, according to figures certified by the Truth Commission. These were “equally terrible episodes, when we saw Venezuelans burned alive” because of their ideology or skin color, Rodríguez lamented.

She referred to the case of Orlando Figuera, who was burned alive by extreme-right groups because of his skin color.

“We know who committed these atrocious crimes,” she added. “They were very hard times that our country went through until President Nicolás Maduro convened the constituent power to heal and cure Venezuela of the deep hatred that these extremists intended to sow.”

In addition to the guarimbas, Rodríguez explained, there were calls for interventionism and imposition of sanctions against Venezuela. “They asked for criminal blockades against the Venezuelan people, seeking, in this way, a form of mass extermination.” The proposed law, she explained, seeks to combat “the discrimination expressed by these groups that have promoted the blockade against our homeland, who have requested the extermination of political classes.”

On the other hand, she mentioned the events recorded in 1984, where Venezuelan extreme-right groups perpetrated a plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to Venezuela. Leopoldo López and Henrique Capriles Radonski, who were young at that time, participated in these meetings, recalled Rodríguez.

Rodríguez also explained that fascism was born in Europe to stop the advance of communism and the proletarian revolution and that it was heavily financed and supported by the government of the United States.

Given the situation that is taking place in Venezuela, and given the threats of the resurgence of violence in the country, the vice president urged the National Assembly to approve the legal text in an expedited manner.

“Today, it is Venezuela’s turn to put itself at the forefront of this battle for humanity, not only for Venezuela,” she said. “We are asking you to approve [the law], in defense of peace [and] of the harmony of friendship between peoples. Today, it is Venezuela’s turn to play a historic role for peace.”

“The role of this law is to defend democracy in Venezuela,” concluded Rodríguez. “It is not about defending a government or a party, it is about defending a system rooted in the people, about defending peace, democracy, coexistence, coexistence among divergence.”

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