The Maduro regime suffered a humiliating rebuke today at a meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IU) in Geneva, Switzerland, after delegates from the Constituent Assembly were denied access to the proceedings. The IU did recognize and welcome delegates from the National Assembly, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled legislative branch.
The IU’s unwillingness to allow members of Maduro’s Constituent Assembly into its chambers is the latest in a long series of international condemnations about the body. Formed in July of last year, the Constituent Assembly is made of hand-picked regime supporters who have granted themselves the power to legislate even above the National Assembly.
Such was the outrage surrounding the installation of the Constituent Assembly that at least 15 people were killed during protests on the day that its representatives were elected. Three days after the vote, the company the provided the voting machines for the Constituent Assembly election made an unprecedented announcement when it confirmed that the Maduro regime had manufactured the results of the election.
While the Constituent Assembly representatives were left outside the building, National Assembly deputies Tomas Guanipa, Delsa Solorzano and Jose Gregorio Correa were welcomed and allowed to participate in the day’s proceedings.
Below, images of the Venezuelan legislative delegation at today’s IU meeting:
The IU is an international organization made up of representatives from parliaments from around the world. It is currently holding its 138th Assembly, the purpose of which is described below:
The agenda is rich and comprehensive, covering key issues such as strengthening the parliamentary contribution to the global compact for migration, sustaining peace as a vehicle for achieving sustainable development, tackling women’s underrepresentation in politics, engaging the private sector in the development of renewable energy, and building sustainable and resilient societies.
Kuczynski’s Success Will Not Invite Maduro to Summit
Following Pedro Kuczynski’s resignation from the presidency of Peru last week, his successor– Martin Vizcarra–clarified today that he would not overturn his predecessor’s decision and invite Maduro to attend the Summit of the Americas, which is scheduled to take place in Lima in April.
After initially inviting Maduro to attend the summit back in November, Kuczynski’s office rescinded the invitation in April as a form of condemnation of Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian rule.
The news came from Edgar Otalvora, a Venezuelan journalist and economist, who claimed that Viscarra had instructed Peru’s foreign ministry to make no changes to the preparations for the summit.
Maduro has repeatedly stated that he will ignore the Peruvian government’s measures and visit the country anyway.
Report: PDVSA May Close Three Refineries “Soon”
Argus, a business news and intelligence website, published an article today in which it cites “two senior officials” in the Venezuelan oil union federation as saying that the state-owned PDVSA oil firm may soon close three out of its four domestic refineries. According to Argus, the closures would be the result of a “critical shortages of crude feedstock and skilled refinery workers”.
The sources claim that the Cardon, El Palito, and Puerto La Cruz refineries are likely the ones to be forced to close, and that combined they account for approximately half of Venezuela’s total daily oil output.
The full Argus article detailing the story can be found here.
Yare Prison to Close; Will Be Replaced with “Political Science University”
Miranda state governor Hector Rodriguez announced today that the infamous Yare prison complex will close in the coming years, to be converted into a learning institution which will be called the Universidad de Ciencias Politicas “Hugo Chavez” [Hugo Chavez Political Science University]. Rodriguez explained that the transformation is the prison is set to coincide with the 30-year anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s release from the institution.
Chavez spent two years in the Yare prison for his role in the failed 1992 coup d’etat attempts against the government of Carlos Andres Perez. He was pardoned and released from the prison in 1994 by president Rafael Caldera.
Rodriguez explained that the prison will be phased out over the next several years, and that the government will ensure the transfer of the prison’s inmates to other institutions. Located south of Caracas, the prison complex is made up of three groups of buildings called Yare I, Yare II and Yare III. Build to house 750 prisoners, the facility’s population is currently estimated at 4,500.
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