Venezuelan media is reporting today that the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (Supreme Tribunal of Justice, TSJ) is about to issue a ruling stripping an opposition deputy of his parliamentary immunity. According to information published in El Nacional as well as other outlets, the deputy in question is Juan Pablo Guanipa, de Primero Justicia (Justice First, PJ) representative from Zulia state.
According CNN en Español’s Osmary Hernandez, the order may be the result of calls from Guanipa for Venezuelans to take to the streets and protest against the Maduro regime’s neglect of Zulia state this coming October 24. Guanipa gave a speech at the National Assembly this afternoon that included that message.
The TSJ has yet to issue the order, and it is not clear at this time that the order has even been drafted.
However, the PJ party was quick to take to Twitter with news of the possible order:
#URGENT we want to tell Venezuelans and the world that Maduro’s TSJ is going to strip [Juan Guanipa] of his parliamentary immunity and is trying to criminalize him through the illegitimate [Constituent Assembly] because he is the legitimate governor of Zulia state, and for calling on people to march on October 24.
Guanipa was elected governor of Zulia state in the October 2017 elections. He was removed from the position weeks after his election after he refused to be sworn-in by Maduro’s Constituent Assembly.
There is no requirement anywhere in Venezuelan law for a governor-elect to be sworn in by a Constituent Assembly. Given the Constituent Assembly’s tumultuous history–and the fact that it is made up entirely of hand-picked regime supporters--Guanipa said that he would not be sworn in by the body in the name of “coherence, dignity, and love for Zulia”.
On the possibility that the regime might take away his parliamentary immunity over his calls for protests, Guanipa said:
As if this [protesting] wasn’t a right that we Venezuelans had (…) Zulia [residents] have the right to protest, the right to take to the streets.
Teachers’ Union: Education Sector Strike Shuts Down 80% of Schools
Edgar Machado, the president of the Sindicato Venezolano de Maestros del Distrito Capital [Venezuelan Syndicate of Capital District Teachers] announced this afternoon that a 48-hour work stoppage at the country’s schools had shut down 80% of schools across the country on its first day. Machado said that he believes that the number will be even higher tomorrow.
We know that this percentage will continue to grow given the situation that the country’s teachers are suffering through today, including the violation of their collective bargaining agreements, the deterioration of their institutions, and a lack of the Student Nutrition Program.
Machado also decried the fact that the Maduro regime claimed to have money to build more schools, while the ones that are already built are suffering from a lack of funds. He said:
A few weeks ago, the regime said that it had money to build 100 schools, but the ones that are already built are collapsing. The bathrooms in our schools don’t work, they don’t have water, and so the children have to carry the water. The Ministry of Education doesn’t even send us cleaning products to do maintenance on the facilities.
The education sector strike also involves the country’s universities.
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