This Saturday, April 9, marks 16 years since Commander Hugo Chavez Frias promulgated in 2006, during the broadcast of his Sunday program “Alo Presidente” #252, the First Law of the Communal Councils, published the following day in the Extraordinary Official Gazette No. 5,806.
“The Communal Councils are the fundamental and vanguard tool to advance in the construction of socialism because they represent the fundamental cell of the revolutionary and true democracy,” expressed the revolutionary leader in the activity.
This legal instrument contains eight chapters and 33 articles. It defines the Communal Councils (Art. 2) as instances of participation, articulation, and integration among the different community organizations, social groups, and citizens. It allows the organized people to directly exercise the management of public policies and projects aimed at responding to the needs and aspirations of the communities in the construction of a society of equity and social justice.
This law promotes the direct exercise of popular sovereignty and its relationship with the organs and entities of the Public Power. The law also has plans and projects related to community development. It also constitutes the figure of the Communal Bank as an instance of economic, alternative, social and participative development and establish the possibility of creating mechanisms of solidarity exchange of goods and services.
The Communal Councils have the Law of the Local Councils of Public Planning (2002) as background. This law mentions them for the first time as primary centers of participation and protagonism of the people to make ideas and proposals feasible for the organized community to present them before the Local Councils of Public Planning (CLPP). Subsequently, in the Organic Law of the Municipal Public Power (LOPPM) of 2005, they are maintained as instances linked to the CLPP of the municipal power, and their functions are complemented, for the exercise of the Popular Power taking part of the national planning system.
Evolution to Organic Law
These structures of popular sovereignty reached a higher rank in the legislative pyramid with the approval in 2009 of the Organic Law of the Communal Councils, published in the Official Gazette number 39.335 dated December 28 of that year, which repealed the 2006 Law, maintaining eight chapters but expanding its articles from 33 to 61.
Subsequently, the National Assembly (NA) has sanctioned other instruments related to the Communal Councils, such as: the Organic Law of Social Controllership (2010), the Organic Law of the Communes (2010), the Organic Law of the Popular Power (2010), the Organic Law of the Communal Economic System (2010) and the Organic Law of Public and Popular Planning (2010), among others, which define spaces for popular participation and the co-responsibility of the Communal Councils in the whole spectrum of national life and public affairs. In the same line, on February 10, 2021, President Nicolas Maduro Moros delivered the draft Organic Law of Communal Cities for discussion by the National Parliament, to create a new organizational, social and productive model that serves for the diversification of the economy in the territories. On March 11, 2021, the NA approved the project in the first discussion and is currently advancing in the second discussion