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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 61 of 190 III.Information submitted A.Background 1.The centralisation of the state since 1999 This document will start by presenting the background to the current situation in Venezuela. Although the information presented relate to a period before February 2014, it is critical to establish facts which sheds light on the current structure and organization of power within the state centralising authority within the Presidency. President Chávez, elected in 1999, and his party the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela” (PSUV)) started the implementation of a state-wide strategy and ideology of social and economic measures211 aimed at empowering the poor through expanded publicly-funded social services and redistribution of Venezuela’s vast oil riches.212 This political strategy, also known as Chavismo or Bolivarian Revolution,213 included the nationalisation of companies, the creation of social welfare programs, and an opposition to neoliberal economics.214 These objectives were to be achieved by centralising the management of state affairs within the Presidency. To do so, after his election in January 1999, Chávez convoked a National Constituent Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) to “redefine the state”215 through a reform of 211 REUTERS. (2012) Los 13 años de Gobierno socialista de Chávez en Venezuela. Reuters Latin America. [Online] 7 October. Available from: [Accessed: 21 August, 2015]; CASTILLO, M. AND HERNÁNDEZ, O. (2013) Hugo Chávez, el socialista que lideró la revolución bolivariana. CNN Mexico. [Online] 5 March. Available from: bolivariana [Accessed: 21 August, 2015]; PADROS, L. and PRIMERA, M. (2012) Chávez reactiva la revolución bolivariana. El Pais. [ONLINE] 8 October. Available from: [Accessed: 21 August, 2015] 212 WARNER, M. (2014) Socialism after Chávez: Political Divisions Deepen Amid Unrest in Venezuela. PBS Newshour. [ONLINE] 18 April. Available from: Chavez-political-divisions-deepen-amid-unrest-venezuela/ [Accessed: 21 August, 2015] 213 EPATKO, L. (2013) In Venezuela, Will ‘Chavismo’ Last Without Hugo Chávez?. PBS Newshour. 12 April. Available from: [Accessed: 21 August, 2015]; Epatko explains that Hugo Chávez was “the force behind ‘Chavismo,’ a left-wing political ideology that favors nationalization and social welfare programs over free market development” 214 REUTERS. (2012) Los 13 años de Gobierno socialista de Chávez en Venezuela; PADROS, L. and PRIMERA, M. (2012) Chávez reactiva la revolución bolivariana 215 When Chávez was sworn in office, he stated that he was searing on a "dying Constitution" and signed a decree calling for a referendum on Constitutional reform. The Decree authorized the realization of this referendum, on the basis of the "imperious need of electing a Constitutional Assembly to draft and aprove a new Constitution, which makes possible a truly representative democracy, authentically responsible and alternative". Chávez called for a referendum on the Constitutional reform when he was sworn in office. VTV. (2012) Hace 14 años Chávez juró sobre la moribunda impulsar las

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