Carmona Decree

Carmona Decree

The Act Constituting the Government of Democratic Transition and National Unity ( _es. Acta de Constitución del Gobierno de Transición Democrática y Unidad Nacional) — known colloquially as the "Carmona Decree" or "el carmonazo" [From the surname of Pedro Carmona and the suffix "-azo," which implies a blow and/or magnitude: see . See also: [ Los procesos de legitimación y deslegitimación discursivas en la prensa escrita venezolana] . Pérez de Pérez, Anneris. "Letras". 2006, vol.48, no.72, accessed 29 May 2007, p.349-363.] — was a document drawn up on April 12, 2002 following the April 11 ouster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

This Act established a transitional government, dissolving the National Assembly and the Supreme Court and also suspending the Attorney General, Comptroller General, governors and mayors elected during Chávez's administration."BBC news". ("BBC" [ Venezuela investiga el "Carmonazo"] . Retrieved 13 June 2006. es_icon] ["BBC news". ("BBC" 13 April 2002) [ Interim Venezuelan president sworn in] Retrieved 31 Aug 2006]


On April 11, 2002, anti-Chávez and pro-Chávez demonstrators clashed at the Miraflores Palace. President Hugo Chávez commandeered the airwaves, and asked protesters to go home, played pre-recorded speechesFact|date=March 2007, and attempted to stop media coverage of the violence. According to BBC News, a sector of the Armed Forces asked for Chávez's resignation, holding him responsible for a massacre during the demonstrations. Commander of the Army Lucas Rincón Romero reported in a nationwide broadcast that Chávez had resigned his presidency, a charge Chávez would later deny. Chávez was taken to a military base while Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce "(Fedecámaras)" president Pedro Carmona was installed as interim president.


Within the Act, the basis for the formation of a transitional government is delineated, citing the Constitution of Venezuela. The Act principally cites Article 350 of the Constitution, which says the People of Venezuela shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights."Venezuela Analitica" ("Analitica" 2002). [ Acta de constitución del Gobierno de Transición Democrática y Unidad Nacional] Retrieved 24 Jul 2006 es icon] It also alleges violations by the Chávez administration of Articles 43, 57, 58, 68, 136, 141, 145, 204, 211, 254, 270, 273, 279, 294, 295 and 328 of the Constitution, and it references the Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States and Chávez's supposed resignation the day before.

Remembering the date of April 11, 2002 "with profound indignation and national mourning," it accuses the government of Chávez of:

*Attacking, repressing, and assassinating innocent peaceful demonstrators.
*Compromising democratic principles, particularly representative democracy.
*Human and property rights violations.
*Flagrant violation of separation and independence of powers.
*Misuse of the armed forces.
*Promoting a climate of social violence.
*Unacceptable isolationist foreign policy, aiding Colombian guerrillas.
*Eliminating autonomy of the electoral process.
*Enacting an enabling act without consulting the electorate.
*Promoting violence via its Bolivarian Circles.
*Disrespecting institutions necessary for peaceful democratic coexistence.


"The Act" declares the formation of a democratic and national unity transition government, according to the following articles:

Article IDesignated Pedro Carmona Estanga President of Venezuela in charge of the Executive Branch.

Article IIRe-established the country's name as "República de Venezuela".

Article IIISuspended the National Assembly, with new elections to be held no later than December 2002.

Article IVCreated a 35 member advisory council to guide the interim president.

Article VNamed the President of Venezuela to coordinate the interim period.

Article VIEstablished that Presidential elections would occur in no later than 365 days, and the interim President may not be a candidate.

Article VIIThe President of Venezuela and Cabinet will select the interim public officials at the national, state and local level.

Article VIIIReorganized public offices to recuperate autonomy and independence, removing officials illegitimately named to their posts as members of the Supreme Court, Attorney General, Comptroller General, and members of the National Electoral Council. These positions would be filled as soon as possible with consultation of the Ministers and Advisory Council.

Article IXSuspended 49 decrees from the "Ley Habilitante" (Enabling Act).

Article XUpheld all other laws both internal and international, as long as they do not disagree with the present Act.

Article XIAll members of the transitional government will abandon their posts once their newly elected counterparts take charge.


The Act was wholly unconstitutional and illegal. It was the catalyst that allowed the Armed Forces to justify abandoning the newly formed government, returning Chávez to power on April 13.

After Chávez was re-instated as president, controversy regarding those that signed "The Act" remained. "Ladies and Gentlemen, in order for this movement for all of democratic society to go forward, at the exit of this auditorium we ask that you sign the decree as adherence to this process." ["Venezuela Analitica" ("Analitica" 2002). [ Acta de constitución del Gobierno de Transición Democrática y Unidad Nacional] Retrieved 24 Jul 2006 es icon "Señoras y señores, a los fines de seguir adelante con este movimiento de toda la sociedad democrática nacional, a la salida de este recinto se les convoca a firmar el decreto que se acaba de leer como adhesión a este proceso."]

According to "El Nacional", among almost 400 signatures is the signature of María Corina Machado, a pro-democracy advocate and co-founder of "Súmate". [ El Nacional(Archivos). [ Lista de Firmantes del Decreto Carmona] Accessed 24 July 2006. es icon ] She denies signing the decree itself, but rather a signature roll. Another notable signee is current Zulia Governor and former presidential candidate, Manuel Rosales, who says his participation was an honest mistake rather than a pre-planned coup like Chávez's. ["Globovision" ("Globovision"31 Aug 2006) [ A juicio de Manuel Rosales, la democracia venezolana "está enferma"] Retrieved 31 Aug 2006]

Referring to "The Act", Venezuelan historian and politician Jorge Olavarría said, "what these fellows brought, and may people who hear pardon me but these things have to be said with the crudeness of the situation, what these fellows brought me [the Carmona decree draft] is a piece of shit, yes totally, if this is going to happen, you have to do these things well, but this was a big mess up, technically and politically ..." [National Assembly (May 31, 2002). [ Investiga los hechos ocurridos los dias 11,12,13 Y 14 de Abril de 2002] es icon "... esto que han traído estos muchachos y me perdonarán las personas que me escuchan, pero las cosas hay que decirlas con la crudeza del caso, esto que me trajeron estos muchachos es una mierda, sí totalmente, si esto va a pasar hay que hacerle las cosas bien hechas, porque eso fue un disparate mayúsculo, técnico o político... "]


External links

* [ "The Revolution Will Not be Televised"] seek (00:45:42) - Google Video
* [ "X-ray of a Lie"] seek (1:00:26) - Google Video.

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