Venezuela's parliament slams Maduro for alleged power grab

Nick Mcbride
May 6, 2017

Maduro began the week by signing a decree to begin the process of rewriting Venezuela's constitution, which was pushed through in 1999 by his predecessor and mentor, the late President Hugo Chavez.

"A young man with all his life ahead".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who was widely criticized in March for admitting she's "proud" of her family's Nazi past, said on Tuesday that she and her country are "concerned" about Venezuela's political situation.

Although he said did not have an exact amount, Fitzpatrick said the USA been able to freeze hundreds of millions of dollars because the money is linked to El Aissami and his front man, Samark Lopez Bello.

"This constituent assembly seeks to impose a Cuban electoral model", said opposition lawmaker Jorge Millan, according to Reuters.

The government says the opposition is promoting street violence and refusing dialogue, so it has no choice but to shake up Venezuela's power structure.

Government supporters gathered outside the headquarters of the electoral board in Caracas to support their president. Protesters fought back with rocks and Molotov cocktails. They protected themselves with homemade shields, painted in bright colors and decorated with slogans like "Liberty!" and "Murderer Maduro!"

"The repression has started", said Miguel Pizarro, an opposition congressman, as clouds of white tear gas swirled near him.

Monday's announcement by President Nicolas Maduro to set up a new assembly, circumventing the opposition- controlled parliament has outraged his critics.

"It's a tool to avoid free elections". The odds of a credit event over the next five years fell to 88 percent in April from 92 percent in March, according to CDS data. "It's all or nothing", said pensioner Miren Bilbao, 66, with friends and family on the Francisco Fajardo highway.

The prospect of this coup has led the opposition to redouble its protests.

President Nicolas Maduro gave no details on how members would be chosen for a planned citizen assembly to produce a new charter, though he hinted some would selected by voters.

Rodriguez said the pressure being brought by the USA on some of its traditional allies like Haiti to punish Venezuela was considerable.

Maduro could then use the writing of a new constitution as an excuse to put off regional elections scheduled for this year and presidential elections that were to be held in 2018, political analyst Luis Vicente Leon said.

"The new constituent process starting today will consolidate the Republic and bring to the nation the peace that we all deserve", Maduro said, clutching a pocket-size blue constitution.

Polling has suggested the socialists would lose both those elections badly. Brazil called the move a "coup", and the U.S State Department threatened further sanctions based on Maduro's actions.

As the political crisis in Venezuela intensifies by the day, sinking it further into social and financial turmoil, a group of USA senators is filing legislation on Wednesday toughening sanctions against corrupt officials and providing financial assistance to the starving country.

Cuba, the sole one-party communist regime in the Americas, is Mr Maduro's closest ally.

"... We're hopeful that [by] working with others, including interventions by others in Europe, that we may be able to gain some traction in Venezuela", Tillerson said. There were four additional deaths on Tuesday, officials said.

The public prosecution service said a policeman had died from a gunshot suffered during a protest Wednesday in the western city of Carabobo, bringing the number killed in just over a month of unrest to 33.

A 17-year-old demonstrator died on Wednesday afternoon after being struck in the neck, Gerardo Blyde, a mayor from a city east of Caracas, said.

Other reports by VgToday

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