Sunday, July 30, 2017

Foreign Digest: Poland and Venezuela

            The President of Poland vetoed two bills approved by the Polish legislature that would have compromised the independence of the judiciary, after massive demonstrations against the measures and condemnation from the main conservative opposition party and the European Union.  The ruling far-right party’s attempt to make judges appointed by the legislature, which would subordinate justice to political considerations, was a centerpiece of its efforts to become increasingly authoritarian.  Poles must remain vigilant against further attempts to violate the principle of the separation of powers and any diminishment of liberty.

            The non-binding referendum sponsored by the democratic opposition in Venezuela in favor of fealty to the Venezuelan constitution, which I posted about two weeks ago in my last post, was approved overwhelmingly.  There have continued to be protests and bloodshed, with over 100 Venezuelan protestors killed in the last several weeks.  

           Today, Venezuela’s authoritarian Socialist regime is conducting an election by presidential decree to for a new assembly with the power to draft a new constitution that would establish a full dictatorship.  The current Congress would be abolished.  A third of the seats of the proposed assembly would be reserved for Socialist constituencies, instead of being elected democratically.  As the opposition, which had won a supermajority of the national legislature, but has been denied some of its seats and the exercise of any effective powers by the ruling party, is boycotting the election, all candidates for the proposed assembly are loyal to the ruling party.  The drafting of the constitution, for which there is no proposed timeline, could delay scheduled regional and presidential elections that the Socialist are expected to lose.  The regime’s attempt to establish a dictatorship through the election for a new assembly has been condemned also by the Catholic Church, other Latin American leaders, human rights organizations and the international community.  The referendum is expected to fail, but Venezuelans must continue bravely to preserve their freedom by rejecting tyranny by opposing the Socialist regime’s increasing authoritarianism and the international community must increase its efforts to support representative government and liberty in Venezuela.

No comments: