There has been a lot of media focus on Venezuela’s recently inaugurated National Constituent Assembly (ANC). However, little attention has been paid to the response it has generated among grassroots organisations or the variety of proposals being discussed in communities in terms of potential constitutional changes.
The ANC was put forward by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a means towards a peaceful and democratic solution to months of political turmoil in the country. It will have plenipotentiary powers to deal with the current economic and political crisis, and will discuss proposals to reform the constitution, though any official amendments will have to be put to a referendum.
Maria Helena Ramirez Hernandez, an activist with the Revolutionary Sex and Gender Diversity Alliance (ASGDRe) and student at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes about what the July 30 vote for the ANC meant for grassroots Chavistas – supporters of the pro-poor Bolivarian Revolution initiated by late socialist leader Hugo Chavez – and the kinds of constitutional changes that the ASGDRe are putting forward for debate.