Venezuela: tension mounts

Submitted by SJW on 9 April, 2019 - 12:42 Author: Eduardo Tovar

On 2 April, the government-held Constituent Assembly in Venezuela, the parallel legislature created in 2017, stripped National-Assembly-backed, self-declared interim President Juan GuaidĂł of his parliamentary immunity.

The Supreme Court, whose judges are loyal to the incumbent President Nicolás Maduro, had asked the Constituent Assembly to lift Guaidó’s immunity following his defiance of a travel ban upon him. Reportedly, Constituent Assembly members responded to the question “What do you do with traitors?" with shouts of “¡Al paredón!” (“To the execution wall!”).

On the streets, opposition supporters gathered for a rally in the El Marques district of Caracas, while supporters of the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) held their own rally in the centre of the city.

Two recent power outages have hit multiple regions of Venezuela, leaving many without water supplies. The mass outages led the Maduro administration to close schools and shorten the working day as part of an electricity rationing plan. Some cities, including San Cristobal, Valencia and Maracay, still report sporadic blackouts.

On Friday 5 April the US imposed new sanctions against Venezuelan oil shipments and promised “stronger action” against Cuba, a key ally of the Maduro regime. With Russian military personnel on Venezuelan soil and US Vice President Mike Pence due to address the UN Security Council this week, the imperial powers’ standoff over Venezuela is becoming tenser

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