What’s happening in Venezuela? Here’s a guide to understand the current crisis
The interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, warned Sunday night that the Nicolás Maduro regime plans to dissolve the National Assembly in the next few hours in reaction to the sanctions imposed by Washington on the Venezuelan economy.
Guaidó, whose presidency is recognized by the United States and more than fifty other nations, said the country is at the gates of a new stage of repression that could lead to the massive arrest of the assembly’s deputies. Guaidó is the leader of the assembly.
“We have received important information about the claims of a new regime madness.... Tomorrow they intend to dissolve parliament, illegally convene parliamentary elections and persecute mass deputies, ”Guaidó said Sunday through a video broadcast by Periscope.
“Today it is evident that the regime is in a phase of despair. What this shows is that they got into [the regime’s] business affairs,” Guaidó added in reference to the sanctions announced last week by Washington that paralyzed the regime’s business operations and threatens to freeze the bulk of its fortunes abroad.
The dissolution of the National Assembly would need to be approved by the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), which answers to Maduro, in an extraordinary session convened for Monday.
However, Guaidó said some members of the regime feel doubts about the step, considering it extreme. Among the people in disagreement are officers of the National Armed Forces, he said.
The authority of the ANC, whose members were handpicked by the regime, is not recognized by the international community or the majority of Venezuelans.
Maduro, who sought to appease Washington and the international community with a dialogue process questioned by Venezuelans, decided to stop negotiating after the United States reinforced sanctions against the regime last week.
The sanctions seek to fundamentally punish those allies who insist on continuing to help the troubled ruler, exposing themselves directly to being sanctioned if they continue aiding his regime.
Guaidó recalled that this is not the first time Maduro tried to dissolve the National Assembly. A previous attempt orchestrated from the government-allied Supreme Court of Justice in 2017 subsequently had to be dismantled when international pressure became too uncomfortable for the regime.
Follow Antonio María Delgado on Twitter: @DelgadoAntonioM