Monday, 20 November, 2017

Coup in Venezuela: Maduro Regime's Constituent Assembly Dissolves, Replaces Parliament

Syndicate Post image Venezuelan military receives President's order to prepare for US invasion
Saul Franklin | 19 August, 2017, 07:45

Constituent assemblies are set up for the specific goal of drafting or adopting a constitution, and as such can fundamentally change how a country is run.

"If the National Assembly was dissolved, its deputies would cease to exist but they still do".

Assembly delegates approved a decree giving them the authority to pass legislation to guarantee the peace, sovereignty and economic well-being of Venezuelans in the face of what they consider machinations and sabotage by Maduro's opponents.

"We're facing an autocratic regime who is stubbornly clinging to power, refusing to listen its people", National Assembly President Julio Borges, said in a letter before today's session.

But the decision suggests the constituent assembly, elected in July in a vote boycotted by the opposition, is more interested in limiting the opposition's influence than carrying out its official task of rewriting the nation's constitution.

Ortega was sacked two weeks ago as the first act of a new supreme assembly loyal to Maduro that has set about quashing dissent and hemming in the opposition, which controls the rival legislature.

"All the organs of public power are subordinate to the National Constituent Assembly", said the decree, read out at Friday's session. Ortega in recent weeks accused Maduro of "dictatorial ambitions".

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The country's new chief prosecutor, Maduro's ex-human rights ombudsman Tarek Saab, on Wednesday outlined corruption accusations against his predecessor Ortega, her husband and members of her team of prosecutors.

The couple's whereabouts had been unknown for several days, but earlier on Friday Ms Ortega Diaz surfaced online, addressing a gathering of Latin America's prosecutors in Pueblo, Mexico.

"They are very anxious and anguished", Ortega said.

Late Friday evening, migration authorities in Colombia said Ortega and her husband German Ferrer arrived in Bogota aboard a private plane traveling from Aruba.

The United States condemned the move as a power grab "designed to supplant the democratically-elected National Assembly with an authoritarian committee operating above the law".

"This is a decree for coexistence between the NCA and the NA to once and for all teach the opposition that it must respect the will of the Venezuelan people", Rodriguez said.

The protests had just started when the supreme Court, an institution which is deemed close to the president, was arrogée the end of march the Parliament's powers before making u-turn 48 hours later to face the outcry in the country and overseas.

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