Embattled President Nicolas Maduro convoked the constitutional assembly in what he says is an attempt to resolve the nation’s political standoff but opposition leaders contend it is a power grab.
As the economic and political situation deteriorates in the Latin American country, with close to 130 people killed in anti-regime protests, global condemnation of the leftist government of Caracas has increased, with the United States slapping Maduro himself with direct sanctions.
The assembly, formed by a July 30 election, has declared itself superior to all other government institutions and has ousted Venezuela’s outspoken chief prosecutor.
The newest additions on Wednesday include Adan Chavez, the older brother of Hugo Chavez, who is credited with introducing the late president to Marxist ideology in the 1970s, and a national guard colonel lionized by the government after he physically shoved congress President Julio Borges during a heated exchange caught on video.
Iris Varela – Member of Venezuela’s Presidential Commission for the Constituent Assembly and former Minister of the Penitentiary Service.
It is noted that Venezuela’s President Maduro has become the fourth living head of state, and also the first Latin American head of state and the first head of the State in Western Hemisphere to be subject to personal sanctions by the US Treasury Department.
“The time has now come for the president to act on his promise to impose significant economic sanctions on the illegitimate Maduro dictatorship”, U.S. Sen.
They have invested heavily in the country’s oil sector, and when the United States banned the sale and transfer of north American weapons and military technology to Venezuela in 2006, Caracas turned to Russian Federation and China instead.
Washington clamped sanctions on Maduro himself last week following actions against 13 Venezuelan figures last month.
“We are concerned that the situation in Venezuela is escalating and these human rights violations show no signs of abating”, The newspaper quoted United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani as saying.
A senior White House official called Tuesday’s signed Lima Declaration “a critical and nearly historic moment for the region to come together”.
The foreign ministers met in Peru to discuss Venezuela’s unrest and encourage negotiations between Maduro’s government and the opposition party, the Associated Press reported. The CEO of voting technology company Smartmatic said last week that the results were “without a doubt” tampered with and off by at least 1 million votes.
This mission, Maradona said, “is the most sacred thing we have”. “Venezuela is a fundamental basis of stability in the whole Caribbean Basin”, Maduro said.
On Tuesday, the ANC passed a decree, stating that its decisions would be above all other constitutional bodies in Venezuela. The opposition is in power in the country’s National Assembly, considered by large the legitimate legislative branch.
Venezuela’s pro-government supreme court has ordered the removal and imprisonment of a Caracas area mayor at the center of protests against President Nicolas Maduro.
The White House declined to offer a reason.