A controversial meeting between opposition ambassador to the United States Carlos Vecchio and the United States Southern Command was cancelled today, seemingly at the last minute.

Back on May 11, Juan Guaido said during a rally in Caracas that he had instructed Vecchio to meet with the leadership of the Southern Command to discuss creating a “collaborative relationship” to help restore democracy in Venezuela. The announcement stoked fears–and among others, hope–that a United States military intervention was in the works.

Vecchio explained why the meeting with Southern Command did not take place:

Admiral Faller [the head of Southern Command] informed us that, due to a decision made by his superiors, the meeting that we requested with the Southern Command was elevated and given the priority that the [Trump] administration gives to the #Venezuela case. The search for solutions to our crisis must be managed at the highest levels of the [United States government].

Instead of meeting with Admiral Faller, Vecchio meat with Elliot Abrams the White House special envoy to Venezuela. There were no representatives from the Southern Command at the meeting.

Maduro Says He Wants Early Parliamentary Elections

Speaking at an event at the Miraflores Palace earlier today, Maduro said that he wanted to see “early elections” for the National Assembly, but did not provide details on whether he would actually carry his wish out.

Maduro made the comment in a rhetorical response to the opposition demands for early presidential elections. During the event, Maduro said:

To the opposition, I say: let’s face off in an election. Let’s face off in a National Assembly election. We’re up for that challenge…. I want elections. Elections now! And who will win? The revolutionary and chavista people on the street.

Maduro also said that he wanted to “legitimize the only institutions that has not be legitimized in the last five years”, referring to the National Assembly.

However, Maduro was incorrect in his slight since the last National Assembly election was held in 2015. The opposition won that election overwhelmingly, handing the PSUV the worst electoral defeat in its history.

The next election for the National Assembly is should take place in late 2020. There is no requirement anywhere in Venezuelan law for institutions to be “legitimized” through early elections.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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