Socialist bloc back in Venezuela congress after boycott

ABC News 1 month ago

Socialist party lawmakers ended their two-year boycott of Venezuela's legislature Tuesday, seeking to renew their influence in the last branch of federal government still controlled by the opposition amidst a lengthy power struggle.

Thirty-eight ruling party legislators heeded President Nicolás Maduro's call to return to the National Assembly building, which has become the opposition's main platform in their push to oust the embattled leader from power.

They returned as part of an accord between Maduro and a handful of outlier opposition parties roundly chastised as a crude attempt to divide the anti-government movement led by legislative president Juan Guaidó.

Maduro is pushing forward the agreement as an alternative to Norway-sponsored talks with the mainstream opposition that have fallen apart in recent weeks as he looks to stabilize a country fraught by economic and political calamity.

The session Tuesday put the dueling sides face to face, with both accusing one another of violating the constitution and fueling the crisis. Guaidó, recognized by the U.S. and over 50 other nations as Venezuela's rightful president, sat perched at the helm, questioning the socialists for their continuing backing of the Maduro government.

"If they want to reach solutions, let's talk about solutions," Guaidó told the raucous assembly. "Free elections, separation of powers."

The socialist lawmakers have been absent since 2017, backing several pro-government Supreme Court rulings declaring the legislature in contempt. Several have gone on to hold positions as minsters and governors, a constitutional violation.

Socialist lawmaker Francisco Torrealba said the ruling party members hoped to "reestablish" the legislature's functions, though he offered few details, other than to say that congress shouldn't be used to delegitimize other branches from power.

"We are here to rescue a space of dialogue," he said.

On several occasions, Torrealba attempted to interrupt proceedings, but the Guaidó-led opposition bloc refused to acknowledge him as an active legislator since he holds another official government role.

The National Assembly spat is likely a preview of what could come next year.

Though they hold only 54 of 167 seats in congress, analysts suspect that resuming their posts is the first of several steps paving the way toward new legislative elections Maduro has vowed to hold in early 2020 that the opposition would likely boycott.

Phil Gunson, a senior analyst with the Crisis Group in Caracas, said that Venezuela's socialist party may be willing to wager that they can win back the National Assembly if they hold an election that the opposition refuses to participate in.

Doing so would further remove a persistent thorn in Maduro's quest to remain president.

"The government has no apparent intention of putting its continuation in power at risk," he said.

The development poses a new challenge for Guaidó, who the opposition has vowed to continue recognizing as Venezuela's legitimate president even after his term as the leader of congress expires early next year. Guaidó contends that under the constitution, he is the rightful leader because last year's presidential election was fraudulent.

Gunson said that argument could be harder to continue upholding if the government proceeds with a new election that the opposition decides to boycott in protest, potentially losing its majority.

"If the National Assembly is back in government hands," he said, "all that becomes an even more evident fiction."

Armario reported from Bogotá, Colombia.


Source link
Read also:
Fox News › Politics › 2 weeks ago
America’s farmers and ranchers are applauding a bipartisan push to formally review a meat-processing conglomerate's apparent illicit dealings and whether its products are helping support Venezuela’s Socialist regime.
Forbes › Finance › 6 days ago
Venezuela is the only country in the world that is suffering from the ravages of hyperinflation. Just how severe is Venezuela’s hyperinflation? If one measures severity by the duration of hyperinflation, Venezuela’s episode, which started in...
Reuters › 1 month ago
Pro-government lawmakers returned to Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress on Tuesday, after President Nicolas Maduro announced an end to a two-year boycott, saying he wanted to promote dialogue in the deeply divided country.
Fox News › Politics › 1 week ago
Seattle’s City Council elections were billed as a battle between the city’s corporate tech giants and a millennial-led socialist movement. And with results from Tuesday’s election all but finalized, it appears the socialist wing will take a hit.
Breitbart › 1 week ago
Venezuela has always had trouble maintaining a functional power grid. I lived in the city of Punto Fijo from 1992 to 1996, blackouts were occasional back then.
Breitbart › Politics › 1 month ago
The rogue socialist regime of Venezuela won a sought after seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday.
The New York Times › 2 months ago
President Maduro’s Socialist Party legislators are retaking their seats in Congress, threatening the power base of Juan Guaidó, the congressional leader who has also claimed the presidency.
Reuters › 1 month ago
Portugal's far-left parties said on Wednesday that they were willing to work with a new minority Socialist government, with the Communists open to cooperating on a case-by-case basis and the Left Bloc favoring a long-term deal.
ABC News › 1 month ago
Colombia's president is comparing Nicolás Maduro to Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic and says Venezuela's embattled socialist leader would be making a "stupid" mistake were he to attack
Reuters › 1 month ago
The Trump administration on Thursday imposed diplomatic sanctions on Cuban Communist Party leader Raul Castro, accusing him of "gross violations of human rights" as it sought to step up pressure on Havana over its support of Venezuela's socialist presiden
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR