The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, said on Friday that he will be taking legal measures against the National Assembly. The president invited the Supreme Court to take action against opposition leaders who are part of the Congress since the Executive considers the body is interfering inappropriately with the country’s international relations and politics.
The background of the tension lies in the Organization of American States. The Venezuelan Congress demanded the Secretary General of the OAS to evaluate the situation in the country. After receiving these complaints and assessing the situation, Luis Almagro, called for an emergency meeting with the regional authorities to discuss the democracy in Venezuela.
Venezuelan institutions are divided
Henry Ramos Allup, Congress President, stated that the OAS is taking the right course of action and trying to dismiss this path is just an effort of the government to deny the crisis and the lack of democracy in the country. As to the legal prosecution of opposition politicians, he said that Congress members and others are allowed to speak their minds and have the right to expression, which the government is targeting by using the Supreme Court against them.
However, there is another focus of tension: the economic crisis. As a response to the critical economic situation in the country, the government released a presidential decree. It announces the “State of Economic Emergency” and creates several institutions and branches of the Public Administration to execute economic enginery. During an official discourse, the head of the Venezuelan state and government accused the Congress of ignoring the economic crisis.
Maduro said that both the Congress as a body and the Congress men as individuals were acting against the National Constitution, since Henry Ramos, Congress’ President and other politicians rejected the decree of economic emergency.
The OAS role
The Organization may have power enough to create international pressure on Venezuela’s government. The region now acknowledges opposition demands, and the decision of the Secretary General to call to an emergency meeting of regional governments is the proof. States will evaluate whether Maduro’s actions are harming democracy.
However, the trend is to remain calm and avoid drastic intervention for now. The application of the democratic charter is on the table and demanded by Venezuelan opposition, but some regional governments are cautious about it. Argentina stated that the use of the instrument would not necessarily solve the crisis in Venezuela.
For Maduro’s government, all this is illegitimate intervention, and the OAS is part of the foreign forces that are trying to vulnerate Venezuela’s sovereignty. And the conduct of the Congressmen qualifies as treason.
— Samuel Burke (@samuelcnn) June 3, 2016
This is not the first time the use of the democratic charter is being discussed in the region. In 2009, it was applied to Honduras, a country that was suspended from the organization after a military coup d’Etat took place. But the major case in the region is Cuba, the island politically close to Venezuela’s government, that was suspended for about 50 years and never wanted to rejoin, even when asked, in 2009.
The Organization of American States is a significant institution in the dynamic of the regional politics. The achievement made by the Venezuelan Congress having reached its attention turns on the pressure to the government.
The Congress and the opposition
For the first time in the last few years of Bolivarian Revolution, the Congress is ruled mostly by the opposition, with a vast majority, over pro-government Congressmen. Once the opposition forces took over, portraits of former President Chavez were withdrawn of the installations.
Source: ABC News