Saturday, October 18, 2008

THE CONSTITUTION OF VENEZUELA 1999-SALIENT POINTS

CONSTITUCIÓN DE LA REPÚBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA
Salient points
CHAPTER 3-OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND GUARANTEES, AND OF DUTIES
Article 19–People are guaranteed without any kind of discrimination the enjoyment of human rights.
Article 20 -- All people have the right to the free development of their personality, the only limitation being other people’s rights, and public and social order.
Article 21 –There shall be no discrimination based on race, sex, creed or social condition. Equality is guaranteed to be real and effective, and will rule in favor of those who would be discriminated, marginalized or vulnerable. The law will sanction abuse or mistreatment.
Article 26-- The state guarantees free, accessible, impartial, ideal, transparent, autonomous, independent, responsible, equal and expedited justice without delays, formalities or useless repositioning.
Article 28 –Everyone has the right to information about themselves or their goods in the official and private registries.
Article 30 -- The state has the obligation to make reparations to the victims of violations of human rights.
Article 31 -- Everyone has the right to petition international organs of human rights for redress.
Of civil rights
Article 43 -- The right to life is inalienable. No law may establish the death penalty.
Article 44 – No one may be arrested without a judicial order. Those free on bail do not have to pay a monetary amount. Everyone who has been arrested has the right to communicate immediately with their family lawyer or other person,who in turn have the right to be told where the arrested person is located. Sentences may not be longer than 30 years and cannot be for life. People may not be disappeared. Anyone who receives an order to do this has the obligation to refuse to carry it out and to denounce it to the authorities. Anyone who is arrested will be treated with respect that is due to the inherent dignity of every human being. No one may be submitted to scientific experiments.
Article 47 – A person´s home and private living areas are inviolable.
Article 48 --All forms of private communication are guaranteed secret and inviolable.
Article 49 -- All persons have the right to be notified of charges, to see the evidence and to have time and the means to prepare a defense. Evidence which is obtained in violation of due process is null and void. No one may be brought to trial without knowing who is bringing charges against him/her. No one may be forced to confess. No one may be sanctioned for acts not foreseen in pre-existing laws. No one may be judged twice for the same crimes or misdemeanors.
Article 50 -- Everyone may travel freely throughout the national territory, change residence, leave the Republic and return, transport their goods and belongings, bring them to the country or take them out, without limitation, except as marked by law.
Article 51 -- Everyone has the right to petition any authority or public functionary and receive a speedy and adequate answer.
Article 54 -- No one shall be submitted to slavery or servitude.
Article 55 -- Everyone has a right to protection by the state from threats, vulnerability, or risk of their person, property in the exercise of his/her rights and duties.
Article 56 -- Everyone has a right to a name, the name of the father or mother and to know their identity. Everyone has a right to be registered without charge in the civil register and to obtain public documents on their identity.
Article 57 -- Everyone has a right to freely the express their thoughts, ideas or opinions aloud, in writing or in any other form of expression, by any means of communication, without censorship. Whoever makes use of this right assumes full responsibility for his/her expression. Anonymous communications, war propaganda, discrimination or religious intolerance are not allowed.
Article 58 -- Communication is free and diverse. Everyone has the right to opportune, truthful and impartial information without censorship.
Article 59 -- The state guarantees freedom of religion.
CHAPTER FOUR-OF POLITICAL RIGHTS AND THE POPULAR REFERENDUM
Article 62 -- All citizens have the right to participate in public affairs.
Article 63 -- Voting shall be free, universal, direct and secret.
Article 64 -- Citizens may vote at age 18. Foreigners may vote if they are 18 years old and have been in the country as residents more than 10 years.
Article 66 -- Those elected must be accountable publicly, transparently and periodically.
Article 67 -- All citizens have the right to associate politically. The law will regulate the financing of private organizations with political ends, and the mechanisms of control that assure their origin and handling. Any citizen or association may postulate a candidate.
Article 68 -- All citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully.
Article 69 – The república bolivariana recognizes the right to asylum and refuge.
Article 70 -- The means and participation and protagonism of the people in the exercise their sovereignty in the political arena are the following: the election of public office, referendums, popular consultations, recalls, constitutional legislative initiatives, open forums and citizens assemblies whose decisions are connected to social and economic affairs, self-initiated actions, cooperatives, savings unions, community enterprises and other forms of association.
SECTION TWO-OF THE POPULAR REFERENDUM
Article 71 -- A consultant referendum may be submitted by the President of Venezuela(male or female) and ratified by a majority of the national assembly, or by a number no less than 10% of the electorate.
Article 72 -- All charges and offices popularly elected are revocable. When an elected person is more than halfway through the term, he/she can only be recalled with no less than 20% of the electorate.
Article 74 -- Budgetary laws, taxes, public credit, amnesty or questions of human rights may not be submitted to a referendum.
CHAPTER FIVE-OF SOCIAL RIGHTS AND FAMILIES
Article 75 -- Family relations are based on equality of rights and duties, solidarity, common effort, mutual understanding and mutual respect.
Article 76-- The state guarantees maternal assistance and protection from the moment of conception throughout pregnancy delivery and postpartum, and will assure family-planning services that are ethical and scientific. The mother and father have the shared obligatory responsibility of raising, shaping, educating and supporting the children.
Article 77 -- Marriage between a man or woman is freely consented to and founded on the absolute equality of rights and duties.
Article 80 -- The state guarantees seniors the exercise of their rights. The state is obligated to respect their human dignity and autonomy and guarantees full attention to the benefits of social security that raise and insure their quality of life. Pensions and retirement may not be below the minimum salary. Seniors are guaranteed the right to work if they so desire.
Article 81-- All disabled people are guaranteed respect for their human dignity, opportunities, and satisfactory working conditions, which will be accessed according to the circumstances.
Article 82 -- Everyone has the right to a place to live which is adequate, secure, comfortable, hygienic, with basic essential services and that humanizes family, neighbor and community relations. Families with scarce resources will have priority access to credit for the construction acquisition and remodeling of their homes.
Article 83 -- The state will encourage and develop policies which will raise quality-of-life and collective well-being of the people through access to services. Everyone has the right to protection of health, as well as the duty to actively participate in its promotion by taking sanitary measures.
Article 84-- The state will develop a national health system that is interconnected, decentralized and participatory, integrated to the social security system, free, universal and equal. The system will give priority to prevention, guaranteeing opportune treatment and quality rehabilitation. Public health goods and services are the property of the state and may not be privatized. The organized community has the right and the duty to participate in decision-making over the planning, execution and control of health policies.
Article 85 -- In coordination with research centers and universities, the state will develop a national policy to train professionals and technicians in the area of health.
Article 86 -- Everyone has a right to free social security as a public service. No one may be excluded for lack of funds. Financial resources for social security may not be used for any other purpose.
Article 87 -- Everyone has the right and duty to work. The state guarantees productive work that allows a dignified existence and guarantees the exercise of this right. Bosses will guarantee their workers conditions of security, hygiene and an adequate environment.
Article 88 -- The state recognizes housework as an economic activity that creates value wealth and social well-being. Housewives have a right to social security.
Article 89 -- Labor rights may not be curtailed. In an arbitration controversy, the matter will be resolved in favor of the worker.
Article 90 -- The workday shall not be more than eight hours daily nor 40 hours a week. Night shifts will not be more than seven hours daily number 35 hours a week. No one will force a worker to work overtime. Working hours will diminish progressively in interest of better use of free time benefiting the physical , spiritual and cultural development of the worker.
Article 91 -- All workers have the right to an adequate salary that allows them to live with dignity and to cover basic material, social and intellectual necessities. Salaries may not be attached and are payable in legal tender. Minimum salaries will be adjusted every year.
Article 95 -- All workers have the right to organize, without permission, unions to better defend their rights and interests. They have the right to join or not according to the law. These unions are not subject to administrative intervention, suspension or dissolution.
Article 97 -- All workers in the private and public sectors have the right to strike.
CHAPTER SIX-OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION
Article 100 -- Popular culture enjoys special attention under the principle of the equality of cultures. The state guarantees cultural workers their incorporation to the system of social security that will allow them a dignified existence.
Article 101 -- The state guarantees the transmission, reception and circulation of cultural information. The media have the duty to help in the transmission of traditional popular values and artistic work of writers, composers, cinematographers, scientists and other cultural workers.
Article 102 -- Education is a human right and a fundamental social duty. Is democratic, free and obligatory. The state will develop scientific, humanistic and technological knowledge in the service of society. Education is a public service based on the respect of all forms of thought with the aim of developing the creative potential of each human being in full exercise of his/her personality in a democratic society based on the ethical evaluation of work, and active, conscious and binding participation in the process of social transformation based on national identity with a Latin American and Universal vision.
Article 103 -- Everyone has a right to a integrated, quality, permanent education in equal conditions and opportunities with no more limitations than those derived from the aptitudes vocation and aspirations of the student. Education is obligatory at all levels, from the maternal to middle school. It is free up to and including university. The law guarantees attention to people with special needs or disabilities.
Article 106 -- Private schools may be established under the inspection of the state.
Article 107 -- Environmental education is obligatory in the educational system.
Article 108 -- The state guarantees the public services in radio, television, libraries and information technology with the aim of allowing universal access to information. Educational centers must incorporate new technologies and innovations in their instruction.
Article 109 –The state recognizes university autonomy as a principle that allows professors students and graduates to dedicate themselves to the search for knowledge, and technological, humanistic, and scientific research for the spiritual and material benefit of the nation. The university may plan and organize its own programs. The university is inviolate to outside interests.
Article 110 -- The state guarantees ethical and legal principles that rule scientific humanist and technological investigation.
Article 111 -- Everyone has the right to sports and recreation as activities that benefit individual and collective life.
CHAPTER SEVEN-OF ECONOMIC RIGHTS
Article 112 -- the state will promote the private sector, guaranteeing the creation and just distribution of wealth, as well as the production of goods and services that satisfy the needs of the population.
Article 113 -- Monopolies are not allowed. The state will restrict the negative aspects of a monopolies and their abuse of power, with the aim of protecting the public consumer, producers and the effective competition in the economy.
Article 114 -- The black market, speculation, hoarding, usury, and cartels will be severely punished by law.
Article 115 -- The right of property is guaranteed. Everyone has the right to use, enjoy and dispose of his/her goods. Only by reason of public utility or social interest by means of opportune payments and just reimbursement may property be expropriated.
Article 116 -- Goods that have been acquired illicitly and through drug trafficking are subject to expropriation.
Article 117 – Everyone has a right to goods and services of quality, as well as adequate and truthful information over the content and characteristics of the goods and services that they consume. They have the right to redress for damages corresponding to the violation of this right.
CHAPTER EIGHT-OF THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
Article 119 -- The state recognizes indigenous communities in their social, political and economic organization, their culture, usage and customs, language and religion, as well as their habitat and original rights over their ancestral lands, which are necessary to develop and guarantee their way of life. This state guarantees the inalienability of the collective property of their lands.
Article 120 -- The use of natural resources in indigenous habitats by the state can be made without harming their cultural, social and economic integrity and is based on previous consultation with the indigenous communities.
Article and 21 -- Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their ethnic, cultural cosmological, spiritual values, as well as their sacred places. The state will disseminate cultural manifestations of indigenous people, who have the right to their own education which is intercultural and bilingual.
Article 122 -- Indigenous people have the right to health that takes into account their practices and culture. The state recognizes traditional medicine and complementary therapies subject to bioethical principles.
Article 123 -- Indigenous people have the right to professional training to participate in the elaboration execution and gestation of specific programs, and technical and financial services that strengthen their economic activity within the framework of sustainable development.
Article 124 -- The registry of patents over ancestral resources and knowledge is prohibited.
Article 125 -- The State guarantees the indigenous presence at the national assembly and at the deliberative federal and local governing bodies
.article 156 -- The indigenous people form part of the nation, the state and the Venezuelan people, which are unique, sovereign and indivisible.
CHAPTER NINE-OF ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS
Article 127 -- The state will protect the environment, biological diversity, the genetic resources, ecological processes, national parks and natural monuments and other areas of ecological importance. The genome of living things may not be patented, and will be ruled by bioethical principles. The state will guarantee that the population develop in an environment free from pollution where the air the water, the soil, the coastlines, the climate, the ozone layer and living species are particularly protected according to the law.
Article 129 –Environmental, social and cultural impact must accompany all activities that may otherwise cause damage to the ecosystem. The state will prevent toxic waste dumping, and the fabrication and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
CHAPTER TEN-OF DUTIES
Article 132 -- Everyone has the duty to fulfill his/her social responsibilities and participate in civil community and political life of the country, promoting and defending human rights as the basis for democratic interaction and social peace.
Article 133 -- Everyone has the duty to help with public expenses by paying taxes and contributions established by law.
Article 134 -- Everyone is the duty to enter civil or military service for defense, preservation and development of the country or the case of public disaster. No one may be forcibly recruited. Everyone has the duty to lend service to electoral functions.
Article 135 -- Those who aspire to exercise any profession have the duty to lend their services to the community during the time place and conditions determined by law.

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