Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro has called a National Constituent Assembly with which he is seeking to consolidate the coup, further theaims of the Chavista revolution, and impose a dictatorship which closely resembles the political situation in Cuba.
“It is time for the original sources of power to convene a deeply communal, workers’ Constituent Assembly,” Maduro said on the afternoon of May 1st, after a new day of repression by his regime against thousands of citizens demanding general elections and the end of the dictatorship.
The body, through which he plans to definitively abolish the legislative branch, will bring together some 500 members, 250 of whom will be drawn from the municipalities, who will have the power to completely alter the Constitution and adjust it to the ruler’s specifications, he announced in his speech.
Although he said that in the next few hours he will send the request to the electoral authority, he did not offer a date for the assembly, and left open the possibility that delegates would pertain to constituent groups elected by the government.
“It is up to you, the workers, to not let me down,” said Maduro, who during last week had threatened a “historical trigger” to allow him to “consolidate” socialism in Venezuela for ever.
The measure has been rejected by the opposition, which warns that this is another coup prepared by Nicolás Maduro to avoid presidential elections and not be held accountable for the crimes committed during his government, in which they have murdered more than twenty citizens and have arbitrarily imprisoned thousands of political opponents.
Immediately following the convening of the Constituent Assembly, the opposition has called for ignoring the request, and asked its supporters to remain in the streets in active disobedience.
“In the face of constitutional fraud just announced by the dictator, let’s take to the streets and disobey such madness!” said Henrique Capriles Radonski, Miranda state governor and former presidential candidate.
Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly, warned on Sunday that Maduro was preparing the convocation of the Constituent Assembly in order to establish a communal government and thus destroy all the institutions built in the democratic era of Venezuela.
María Corina Machado, for her part, warned that this is Maduro’s new strategy to gain time and circumvent the pressure from the international community, which in the last month has demanded that Venezuela’s democracy be restored and general elections be held as a means to overcome the serious crisis in the country.