National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup said today that it would be “irresponsible” to let Maduro finish the last three years of his presidential term, and reiterated his stance that the MUD would look at means granted by the constitution to remove him from power.
Allup said that the MUD has yet to sit down to seriously discuss Maduro’s removal, and that as such the bloc did not have a defined strategy for doing so yet. The MUD has three options for removing Maduro from power: a recall referendum, creating a constituent assembly, or a constitutional amendment decreasing the length of presidential terms.
We haven’t touched either the referendum, nor the constituent [assembly], nor the constitutional amendment issues. When the time comes, we’ll see which method is the most efficient, and less harmful and complicated.
Health Ministry: Venezuela Ready to Combat Zika
Minister of Health Luisana Melo told VTV that the country was ready to combat the spread of the Zika virus, and that 55 Venezuelans are in intensive care with the disease, while another 4,500 are suspected of having it. Melo explained that of the suspected cases, 255 are believed to suffer from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a life-threatening illness that attacks the body’s muscles and is believed to be linked to the Zika virus.
Melo said that her ministry had sent 70,000 liters of insecticide to every corner of the country, where workers are currently spraying against mosquitoes.
Jesus Torrealba Alleged to Head ANTV
In a move indicative of the dramatic change that swept into the country on December 6, Jesus Torrealba – the head of the MUD opposition bloc – became the director of the ANTV (National Assembly Television) station today. ANTV is technically owned by the National Assembly, and has traditionally operated under the direction of the PSUV.
The news, which have yet to be officially confirmed, came from one of the founders of the channel, Betzaida Amaro, who told El Nacional of the change in leadership at the station. Amaro said:
Right now the channel is in a preparation face, and in the next few days Torrealba will announce when it will begin broadcasting again.
The station is currently under investigation for corruption by the National Assembly. The station’s former head, PSUV deputy Dario Vivas, fired all of the ANTV workers in the aftermath of the PSUV defeat at the polls on December 6. Amaro said that to this day, the station’s workers are not sure what happened to the station:
We haven’t been able to enter the station. They [the PSUV] closed it all up, and the nearly 170 workers that they fired haven’t had access to the building, not even to remove personal items.
Amaro also said that it appears that the station has been looted, as she claims that “a lot of equipment has disappeared” , and that she was proud to have Torrealba as the station’s head:
Starting today, our spokesperson will be “Chuo” Torrealba, and he’ll tell everyone how things will be from now on and when [the station will broadcast again] (…) we are proud to have recovered the channel’s institutionality.
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