National Communal Parliament Meets for First Time in Venezuela

Source: TeleSUR English

This first session of the Parliament aims to create a legislative mechanism through which the people can govern.

President of the Venezuelan National Assembly Diosdado Cabello presided Tuesday over the first gathering of the National Communal Parliament, a legislative body aimed at strengthening the role of grassroots decision-making structures known as communal councils and communes.

Cabello explained that the goal of the National Communal Parliament is to create a space that will allow the people to have access to resources, decision-making, laws, and “will allow the people to experience their way of life.”

Over the past decade, Venezuela has been witness to an explosion of grassroots structures and direct decision-making bodies, known as communal councils, where citizens can resolve their own local problems directly.

Community-identified priorities, such as the refurbishing of playgrounds and small infrastructure projects, can only commence with the approval of residents themselves.

Communal councils are organized into larger bodies known as communes, which can pool resources and engage in larger-scale projects.

Until the creation of the National Communal Parliament, these expressions of grassroots decision-making lacked a body at the national level.

These grassroots structures, referred to as “expressions of popular power” inside the country, are seen as a cornerstone of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

The devolution of greater authority to citizens through the communes was also a major priority of the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

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