The MUD held a meeting in Caracas today to finalize the details of what will become its first few days in control of the country’s National Assembly. The opposition bloc is set to take the reigns at the legislature on January 5.
Primero Justicia‘s Julio Borges told reporters after the meeting that the MUD plans to pass four laws as quickly as it can: an “Amnesty and Reconciliation Law” to secure the release of the country’s political prisoners, a “National Production Law” to attempt to restart the country’s productive apparatus, a law to grant property deeds to Venezuelans living in subsidized housing units, and a law to extend nutrition and medical care to pensioners.
On the importance of the property deed law, Borges said:
One of the biggest problems we have is that these [tenants] do not own their units; rather, they simply occupy them. What we’re doing is starting this law from scratch by cross-referencing the government database on tenants with those from Mision Vivienda [the subsidized housing ministry] so that we can start assigning property deeds.
PSUV critics, including the MUD, have pointed out in the past that by giving people keys to homes but refusing to grant them legal ownership of the same units, the government hopes to buy people’s votes by threatening to evict them at any time if they do not return political favours.
Allup: Maduro’s Future To Be Decided Within 6 Months
National Assembly Deputy Henry Ramos Allup wrote in his weekly column in El Nuevo Pais that the National Assembly will figure out a democratic way to remove Maduro from office before July of next year. Allup also said that the MUD was as united as ever, despite rumours to the contrary.
[I’m writing this] to move away from insidious comments that seek to divide us into antagonistic groups competing to impose on the other each one’s priorities, and even worse, that doing so answers to the interest of those who seek to make an exit from the current government as quickly and possible while others make every effort to make sure this presidential term lasts until the last day.
Allup stressed the importance of seeing Maduro removed from power by saying that the country’s problems are so complex that “it is not possible to only solve some while not also solving the others”.
Venezuela Beats Cuba in Political Prisoners
El Nacional reported today that according to statistics from Venezuelan and Cuban NGOs, Venezuela currently has more people in prison as a result of political persecution than Cuba.
Venezuela’s Foro Penal calculates that there are 76 political prisoners in the country today. Among them are Voluntad Popular leader Leopoldo Lopez, Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma, and San Cristobal mayor Daniel Ceballos. The three were arrested over the course of the last two years as part of a government crackdown on political opposition that ramped up during last year’s protests.
Alfredo Romero, the director of the Foro Penal, told El Nacional that since Maduro came to power in March 2013, the number of political prisoners in the country increased by 66.
By contrast, there are currently 60 political prisoners in Cuban jails today, according to the Comision Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliacion Nacional.
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