The Organization of American States (OAS) held an extraordinary session today in which it voted to request that Maduro cancel the April 22 presidential election, which are widely expected to be rigged in his favour. The request comes via a resolution calling for Maduro to instead hold a free and fair vote at a later date, and that he allow international observers to participate in the proceedings.
The resolution was passed with a vote of 19 member states in favour, with five opposed, eight abstentions and two absences.
The resolution reads that the OAS’ permanent council considers that the April 22 presidential election “makes it impossible to carry out a democratic, transparent and credible election in line with international norms”, and continues:
… [we] call on the government of Venezuela to reconsider the premature call for presidential elections and instead present a new electoral schedule that could make possible the carrying out of elections with all of the necessary guarantees to ensure that it is a free, fair, transparent, legitimate and transparent process.
The resolution can be found here, in Spanish.
CNE Will Consider National Assembly Election After April 22
The Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) announced today that it would consider holding parliamentary elections some time after April 22, in response to calls by Maduro and other PSUV officials that Venezuelans take to the polls soon for a “mega-election”.
Speaking to reporters alongside Constituent Assembly president Delcy Rodriguez, CNE chief Tibisay Lucena said today that it was simply not possible to hold the type of election that Maduro has called for. Lucena said:
We are not ready to hold elections as complex as the parliamentary [election] in such a short period of time. We are going to evaluate holding joint votes for the different legislative levels at a later date.
Maduro’s call for a “mega-election” involving the National Assembly has no basis in Venezuela law, given that the Assembly’s term ends in 2021 which means that the next parliamentary vote cannot take place before 2020.
The National Assembly has been under the control of the opposition bloc since the last election, which was in 2015. Ever since then, the Maduro regime has worked tirelessly to undermine the legislative branch, going as far as usurping all of its powers through the Supreme Court in March of last year. That measure was rescinded a few days after it was taken due to the unprecedented backlash that it garnered from both the national and international community.
VP Denounces Kidnapping Allegations
The Voluntad Popular (VP) party reacted today to accusations made by Maduro yesterday that the party was planning to kidnap the former president of the Venezuelan Central Bank, Nelson Merentes, for an unexplained nefarious reason. Maduro made the accusation last night during a live stream on Facebook, and called VP “a terrorist party”.
VP is one of the largest and most popular opposition parties in Venezuela, and was headed by Leopoldo Lopez until his arrest in 2014.
National Assembly deputy Juan Andres Mejia refuted Maduro’s allegations in the strongest possible terms today, and pointed out that this is not the first time that the regime has persecuted the party.
Venezuelan Consulate in Miami Risks Eviction Over Non-Payment
The Venezuelan consulate in Miami is facing eviction due to non-payment of rent dating back to August of last year. The consulate, which occupies one floor in Miami’s Panorama Tower, is alleged to owe its landlord $142,119 in unpaid rent.
According to the Associated Press, the Venezuelan government owned the building which houses the consulate up to 2005, when it sold it for $70 million.
Russ Dallen, an investor who discovered the court filing detailing the case, told the Associated Press:
The fact Venezuela can’t come up with such a small amount of cash tells you what dire straits they’re in.
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