The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) officially unveiled its plans for the National Assembly session starting January 5, 2016. In a document published online last night, the bloc set out its priorities for the parliamentary term beginning next year.
The document identifies nine broad areas of focus: supply/stock, consumer protection, insecurity, salaries, pensions, public services, homes, corruption, and political prisoners. The MUD has proposed laws to bring about the change they see as necessary in the individual categories.
Among the laws proposed is the Ley de Abastecimiento Pleno, which would see business transactions streamlined to allow for faster, more efficient importing. Another, the Ley de Coordinacion Policia, would allow for local and state police forces to work alongside the National Bolivarian Police. The Ley de Medios de Comunicacion Publicos y Comunales would seek to create “information equality” on Venezuelan airwaves by granting autonomy to state-owned media channels, while the Ley de Amnistia General would grant amnesty to all political prisoners in the country.
Torrealba: Social Programs Are Tools of Control
Speaking at a press conference earlier today, the head of the MUD, Jesus Torrealba, elaborated on the MUD’s vision for the Venezuelan that it wants to help build.
Torrealba lamented that under PSUV rule, government policies “have been used as an element of political control”, and called for an end to “ideological manipulation” through social programs. Instead, Torrealba proposed that all Venezuelans – regardless of political ideology – should benefit equally from social programs, a reality he hopes the MUD’s planned Ley de MIsiones Para Todos will accomplish:
[Everyone should benefit from social programs] without having to dress in red [the PSUV colour] and without having to go around praising a political party. That is immoral and unjust. That money does not belong to the PSUV nor to the government: it belongs to the Venezuelan people. They’ve tried to extort the Venezuelan people with their won money.
Torrealba also pointed out that the MUD will pass a law that will grant Venezuelans living in subsidized housing deeds to the properties in which they live. Under the PSUV, people living in subsidized housing were not granted deeds, effectively placing them in a state of limbo where they could be forced out of their homes at any time and for any reason. Critics claimed that the PSUV purposely denied deeds as a way to extort subsidized housing residents into voting for them.
Torrealba said that while the electoral campaign had ended, “the social campaign has begun”.
Venezuelan Crude Falls to $31.24
The Ministry of Oil and Mining announced today that the price for a barrel of Venezuelan crude oil fell $2.81 this week to $31.24. This week’s figure puts the average price for the year at $45.55, down from an average of $88.42 last year.
The ministry cited “persistent worries about the existing global offer” for the price.
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