Venezuela: Constituent wants to judge opponents for “treason”
Julio Borges (d), President of the Venezuelan Parliament controlled by the opposition and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Freddy Guevara in Caracas, 9 August 2017
The Venezuelan Constituent Assembly decided on Tuesday to bring to justice for “treason” the opponents who, it said, encouraged the financial sanctions of the United States announced Friday against the country.
Meeting in Caracas, the members of this institution, which holds full powers, have approved a decree paving the way for “a historic trial for treason of the fatherland against those who have encouraged these immoral actions against the interests of the Venezuelan people.”
The text does not mention any names, but the speakers accused the opposition, especially the Speaker of Parliament, Julio Borges, and his vice-president Freddy Guevara.
The Assembly requested the State authorities to immediately initiate investigations to determine the responsibility of the accused.
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro on Friday accused Borges of having “lobbying” for US sanctions on trips abroad and demanded that he be tried, along with other leaders of the opposition, For “treason of the fatherland”.
The Venezuelan penal code provides for a prison sentence of 20 to 30 years for treason.
Parliament is the only Venezuelan institution controlled by the opposition. The Constituent Assembly has allocated most of its powers.
The United States and a dozen countries in Latin America have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new Constituent Assembly wanted by Maduro and inaugurated in August despite the boycott of the opposition and international critics.
Determined to demonstrate that the United States will not remain immobile in the face of the crisis in this country, US President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions on Venezuela – the first strikes against the country as such – to restrict Access to foreign capital of which it has a crucial need to avoid default.
The opposition coalition in Venezuela had on Sunday evening its support for the new American sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro.