The Venezuelan Constitutional Bloc highlighted the need for the country to have the National Assembly approve the “Special Litigation Fund”, and with it, the defense of the Nation’s interests can be assumed with the urgency of the case.
In a statement, they stressed that Parliament must seek the necessary political consensus to establish the fundamental criteria for the constitution, functioning, controls, and execution of the special expenditure item.
They also suggested that a “clear distinction be made between the non-disposal and the execution of recovered assets, which are indispensable for the necessary procedural and judicial defense of the interests of the Nation”.
The following is the full statement:
1.- That since 1999, acts of great corruption have been observed executed by a kleptocracy that, in the exercise of power and in its shadow, has diverted and appropriated large amounts of public patrimony, generating impoverishment and a complex humanitarian emergency in the Venezuelan population, as has been recognized by international organizations and the majority of democratic governments in the world.
2.- That it is an ethical, political and constitutional imperative to recover the assets belonging to the public patrimony, which have illegitimately passed into corrupt hands.
3.- That in accordance with the provisions of Article 36 of the Statute governing the Transition to Democracy: “State assets that have been recovered through the mechanisms established in this Statute may not be disposed of or executed until the usurpation has ceased and a provisional government of national unity has been formed.
4.- That the National Assembly, by Resolution dated January 28th, 2020, approved by majority vote to increase the “Special Litigation Fund” to 20 million dollars of the United States of America, with observations and the saved vote of two political organizations.
5.- That the above-mentioned “Agreement” has been the object of various interpretations, observations and questionings by some sectors of civil society and politicians.
6.- That the Special Attorney General appointed by the President in charge of the Republic, is empowered by the Statute Governing the Transition to Democracy to appoint legal representatives, including in international arbitration processes, and to exercise the powers mentioned in paragraphs 7, 8, 9 and 13 of Article 48 of the Organic Law of the Attorney General’s Office, with the limitations derived from Article 84 of that Law and Article 15 of the aforementioned Statute.
7.- That the use of the funds required for the exercise of the Special Attorney General’s powers is subject to the control mechanisms defined in the Agreement of the National Assembly of November 19th, 2019, namely: authorization by the BCV and PDVSA, following a report by the Special Attorney General and control by the OFAC.
8.- That by means of a Communication dated January 29th, 2020, the Special Attorney General has considered necessary a political consensus that allows to comply with the function of the Special Attorney General’s Office, recommending not to execute any payment based on the “Agreement” of January 28th, 2020.
9.- That according to article 36 of the Statute that governs the Transition to Democracy, in order to guarantee the correct administration and disposition of the assets of the State, the National Assembly can dictate a special law on financial and budgetary matters, given the situation of budgetary re-conduction in which the Republic finds itself since 2016.
10.- That for the transparency of the management of the ad-hoc Administrative Boards designated to manage State entities and companies, including those incorporated abroad, in accordance with Article 15, letter “a” of the referred Statute, and in accordance with the transitory regime that governs while the usurpation referred to in Chapter II persists, according to Article 34, heading of the same Statute, said Boards are subject to the authorizing control of the National Assembly.
The Constitutional Bloc, having as one of its fundamental objectives the defense of the constitutional order and democratic institutions:
FIRST: It invites the National Assembly to seek the necessary political consensus to establish the fundamental criteria on the constitution, functioning, controls, and execution of the special expenditure item, called “Special Litigation Fund”, which will allow it to assume, with the urgency of the case, the defense of the interests of the Nation, as imposed by article 130 of the Constitution, and in a concrete way the task of recovering corrupt assets and facing litigation before international creditors.
SECOND: Suggests to the National Assembly that among the fundamental criteria mentioned above, it should clearly establish the distinction between non-disposition and execution of recovered assets, to which Article 36 of the Statute Governing the Transition to Democracy is committed, and the special item constituted by the resources that make up the “Special Litigation Fund”, which are indispensable for assuming the necessary procedural and judicial defense of the interests of the Nation.
THIRD: Urges the National Assembly to urgently appoint the Special Comptroller General, in order to establish the necessary controls over the assets recovered and the “Litigation Fund”. Likewise, invites the Special Attorney General to present a monthly report on the application of the “Litigation Fund” and the respective progress.
FOURTH: Urges the National Assembly, in accordance with the principles of honesty, efficiency, transparency, information and accountability, to structure a body for the allocation of such public expenditure and the mechanisms for the operation of the Treasury and Legal Advice on such matters, in order to ensure the proper use of resources for the defense of the rights and interests of the Republic, to preserve and safeguard them, and for the design of the strategy for the judicial defense of the assets of the Republic, as well as, for the appointment of special attorneys by the office of the Special Attorney.