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Venezuela: President of the National Assembly Cites Constitutional Basis for Assuming Office the Presidency on an Interim Basis

(Jan. 31, 2019) On January 23, 2019, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared that he was assuming the office of the presidency on an interim basis on the basis of article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution. (CONSTITUTION OF BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA [CV], Dec. 30, 1999, as amended, art. 233 (in Spanish).) […]

Venezuela: Prohibition of Use of Cellular Phones and Internet by Inmates

(Aug. 25, 2016) The Venezeulan Congress recently passed the Law Regulating the Use of Cellular Phones and the Internet Inside Penitentiaries, prohibiting the use of cellular phones and the Internet in prisons. The Law imposes a penalty of three to five years of imprisonment on anyone who introduces cellular phones or Internet-ready devices in prisons. […]

Mercosur; Venezuela: Venezuela Joins Trade Bloc

(Aug. 3, 2012) On July 4, 2006, Venezuela signed the adhesion protocol to Mercosur, which established a four-year term for full incorporation into the economic bloc. (Mercosul, Venezuela Consolida Participação, VEJA ON-LINE (July 5, 2006).) Six years later, on July 31, 2012, Venezuela was officially admitted to full membership in the Mercosur trade bloc, formed […]

Venezuela: New Law Bans Some Internet Content

(Dec. 30, 2010) On December 20, 2010, after less than a week of consideration and with the support of the ruling party, Venezuela's National Assembly adopted the Law on the Social Responsibility of Radio, Television, and Electronic Media (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio, Televisión, y Medios Electrónicos [in Spanish], National Assembly website, (last […]

Venezuela: Twitter Users Arrested on Charges of Spreading Rumors

(July 14, 2010) Two individuals charged with “the dissemination over the social network Twitter of false rumors for the purpose of destabilizing the national banking system…and causing runs on banks,” were arrested on July 8, 2010, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, by officers of the Scientific, Penal, and Criminalistics Investigations Corps (CICPC). (Venezuela: Two Detained for […]

United Nations; Venezuela: Alarm over Purported Draft Media Law

(Aug. 18, 2009) On August 10, 2009, Frank La Rue, who has served since August 2008 as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, expressed concern about a proposed Venezuelan media law that “could be used as a tool for political intimidation” through […]

Venezuela: Consolidation of Administrative Powers in Executive Branch

(July 27, 2009) A new law issued on March 17, 2009, amends Venezuela's Organic Law on the Decentralization, Delimitation, and Transference of Competencies of the Public Power that was published on August 14, 2003. The amendments allow the transference of powers previously within the realm of the states to the executive branch for the administration […]

Venezuela: Congress Approves Constitutional Reforms Proposed by the President

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 23, 2007, the National Assembly of Venezuela approved an increase in powers for the president of the republic as part of a constitutional reform in progress. Among the new presidential powers included in the reform, are the following: To create or suppress federal provinces, federal territories, federal cities, operational districts, […]