Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz voiced her harshest comments against Maduro’s Constituent Assembly yesterday, calling on all Venezuelan citizens to reject the measure by refusing to participate in the process. Diaz made the comments on the steps of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), Venezuela’s supreme court, after filing an official motion calling on the institution to nullify the Constituent Assembly elections slated for the end of July.
Once elected, the approximately 540 Constituent Assembly representatives will be tasked with drafting a new national constitution, a measure that regime critics claim will cement Maduro’s dictatorial rule over Venezuela.
Diaz told reporters that the reason why she had requested the nullification of the Constituent Assembly is that, because it was imposed by Maduro seemingly on a whim, the process “does not comply with legal requirements”. According to the Constitution, the President of the Republic may suggest that a Constituent Assembly take place, but it is up to the Venezuelan electorate to vote on whether or not the assembly actually takes place.
According to Diaz, the fact that the entire process exists outside of the law leaves only one course of action available:
[I call on] everyone living in the country to reject the National Constituent Assembly.
The TSJ formally accepted Diaz’s request for the nullification of the process today.
VP El Aissami: Constituent Assembly Will Speed Up Socialism
Vice-President Tarek El Aissami told supporters at a regime event today in Caracas that the Constituent Assembly was a necessary process in order to speed up Venezuela’s course towards socialism. At the same time, El Aissami spoke out against Diaz’s criticism of the measure, calling her “a spokesperson” for the enemies of the regime.
Yesterday, we heard from another spokesperson for the reactionary right-wing who now thinks that she can be a leader of the transition [from the Maduro regime]. Mrs. Luisa Ortega Diaz said yesterday that the Constituent [Assembly] represents an assault against human rights. The Constituent [Assembly] means speeding up the course towards socialism and to deepen the Bolivarian Revolution….
El Aissami did not explain exactly how the Constituent Assembly would achieve the goals which he attributed to the measure, or what these goals are.
The vice-president ended his comments on Diaz’s statement with a threat for the attorney general, whom he suggested would be removed from her position as a result of the assembly:
… in 51 days, that [Public Ministry] will be in the hands of justice.
NA Removes Minister of Interior from Post
The National Assembly voted yesterday to remove Minister of the Interior Nestor Reverol from his position as Minister of the Interior as a result of the regime’s brutal repression of opposition demonstrations in the country since April 1. As Minister of the Interior, Reverol is in charge of all police bodes in the country.
Through its vote, the legislature found that Reverol can no longer exercise his duties given the “commission of grave human rights violations” in the form of “brutal repression of protests” in the country.
Reverol becomes the third cabinet minister to be removed from his position since the opposition-controlled National Assembly began its term in January of 2016. The other two removed individuals were Minister of Nutrition Rodolfo Torres, and Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez. Both Torres and Dominguez simply ignored the legislature’s removal vote and continue to exercise their duties to this day, and it is certain that Reverol will follow suit.
The National Assembly has the power to remove cabinet ministers from their positions via a vote through articles 187(10) and 246 of the national constitution.
PSUV Mayor Arrested Over Alleged Murder of 9 People
The PSUV mayor of the Cariaco municipality in Sucre state, Angel Ortiz, was arrested today on suspicion that he murdered nine people back in November of 2016. Ortiz is one of seven co-accused for the murders, the rest of whom are all National Guard soldiers.
According to the Public Ministry, Ortiz and his accomplices are suspected of having tracked down an individual in the town for reasons that are not immediately clear, and of having committed the murders once they found their target in the company of others. Ortiz is accused of having provided the soldiers with the vehicle which they used to carry out the crime.
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