Seven Venezuelan opposition MPs will face criminal charges for supporting Juan Guaido in his call for an uprising against Nicolas Maduro, whose former head of intelligence defected and saw, as a result, US sanctions against him lifted.
The Chavista power decided to move on the legal ground, just one week after the failed uprising that was called Juan Guaido, recognized interim president by fifty countries, including the United States.
The triggering of “criminal proceedings” against the seven opposition parliamentarians was done in two stages on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court, which the opposition accuses of being tied to the Chavist power, first ordered that six of them be prosecuted for “high treason” and “conspiracy” among other leaders. She then handed over their cases to the General Prosecutor’s Office for investigation and to the Constituent Assembly to consider the lifting of their parliamentary immunity.
Juan Guaido’s first reaction to this decision came during a session of the National Assembly he chairs and which is dominated by the opposition. “The only answer of this regime is to continue, it does not govern anymore, because it no longer has the controls,” he said.
In the early evening, the Constituent Assembly, consisting only of followers of Nicolas Maduro, then decided to defeat the immunity of six MPs: Henry Ramos Allup, Luis Florido, Marianela Magallanes, Calzadilla Simon, Amerigo De Grazia and Richard Blanco.
To these six names added that of Edgar Zambrano, against which the Supreme Court had already decided that proceedings would be initiated last week.
“Let everyone assume their responsibilities, we are assuming our responsibility today by opening the way for the prosecution of those who actively participated in the failed uprising on Tuesday,” said Diosdado Cabello, the president of the Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly is one of two assemblies in Venezuela. Created in 2017, it effectively replaces the National Assembly, whose decisions are no longer taken into account by the executive. It has very broad powers, including the power to waive the parliamentary immunity of members.
The Constituent Assembly had already lifted the immunity of Juan Guaido in April, considering that it “usurps” the presidential office. The opponent and his supporters have also used the term “usurper” to describe the head of state which they believe he owes his continued power in the presidential election “fraudulent” year latest.
- “Political persecution” –
And in this standoff, Juan Guaido is supported by the United States. In an attempt to dislodge Nicolas Maduro from power, the Trump administration has already taken a series of sanctions against senior civilian and military officials.
On this list was until Tuesday General Christopher Figuera, chief of Venezuelan intelligence.
But during a speech in Washington, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the sanctions against him were “immediately” lifted following his defection last week.
The idea is to push other senior officers to defect in favor of Juan Guaido. “The United States will consider lifting sanctions for all those who support the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Mike Pence.
This is also the first official confirmation of Christopher Figuera’s defection.
The lifting of sanctions against this former regime official “highlights the strong support of our allies” and “our seriousness and our commitment to our armed forces ready to defend the Constitution,” tweeted Mr. Guaido. He recalled offering “guarantees” to soldiers who would switch to his camp.
The replica of Caracas came from Diosdado Cabello. He said the measure “clearly shows” that US sanctions against Venezuelan officials “have nothing to do with money laundering, drug trafficking or human rights”, but everything to do with “political persecution”.
Also on the diplomatic front, the international contact group (ICG) composed of European and Latin American countries, announced Tuesday sending a mission to Venezuela to promote a solution to the political crisis and oversee the distribution of aid humanitarian.
Because the political crisis is coupled with the worst economic crisis in recent history of this country to the largest oil reserves in the world. Inflation is expected to reach 10,000,000% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, and shortages are multiplying, as are power outages.