On October 8 the National Constituent Assembly (ANC, in Spanish) unanimously passed the Anti-Blockade Bill, presented last September 30 by the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. The initiative seeks to mitigate the economic and social effects of the sanctions imposed by the United States. The final text of the law will be available once it is promulgated by the Executive Branch through its publication in the Official Gazette, which is expected to occur in the short term.
The President of the ANC, Diosdado Cabello (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – ruling party), highlighted the importance of the initiative since “it is an instrument of defense against the blockades and the imperial sanctions of the United States.” In the same vein, the legislator Hermann Escarrá (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – ruling party) said that the sanctions imposed by Donald Trump’s administration “have as their only purpose the destabilization of the country’s economy.”
The key aspects of the bill are:
- The Executive branch may put in place financial mechanisms to progressively restore the value of welfare benefits and workers’ savings.
- The Executive may adopt measures to promote private sector participation in economic development.
- The State will be able to agree on asset protection clauses for investors, with the objective of creating greater investor confidence and stability.
- The resources collected under this law will be allocated to develop compensatory systems for workers’ salaries and to promote national industry and selective import substitution.