Maduro Installs his Constituent Assembly amid Wave of Rejection

By Nestor Rojas

Friday’s swearing in ceremony of the all-powerful Constituent Assembly. Assembly president Delcy Rodriguez in red in the front row. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, was installed his Constituent Assembly  today as a plenipotentiary body, amid the rejection of the opposition and a group of countries, to which the Vatican joined reported dpa.

Former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, 48, was elected President of the 545-member Assembly. She will be accompanied by veteran politician Aristobulo Isturiz and former Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez as vice presidents.

The leadership slate, proposed by the United Socialist Party leader Diosdado Cabello, was unanimously approved.

The body was constituted as an expression of chavismo, since the opposition did not participate in the July 30 election, which is in the midst of questions about allegations of fraud.

Maduro defied calls for the withdrawal of the Constituent Assembly, including under threat of more sanctions from the United States, and continued with his project, which he said would “regenerate the country’s peace”, battered by opposition protests that are now four months old.

In her acceptance speech, Rodriguez warned that the Constituent Assembly will have a strong response to the “fascist right (opposition) that seeks to overthrow the constitutional and legitimate government” of Maduro and asked her fellow chamber members to find a way to prevent that opposition from ever coming to power in the future.

“They are human rights violators,” she said, accusing the opposition of violence in the protests against the government. “We tell them that if they do not take the path of political action, justice will be imposed and this Constituent Assembly arrived to do justice,” she added.

The former foreign minister was not among the candidates mentioned to assume the presidency, among which were the wife of Maduro, Cilia Flores, and Hector Rodriguez, the head of the pro-government bench in the National Assembly, where the opposition holds a large majority.

Rodriguez, a lawyer with studies in France, served as foreign minister from 2014 until last June, when she ran for a seat in the Constituent Assembly. At the head of Venezuelan diplomacy, it was her role to make official Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Organization of American States (OAS). Her brother, Jorge Rodiguez, a strong backer of Maduro, is the mayor of the municipality that includes the center of Caracas.

The former foreign minister also lashed out at US President Donald Trump, whose government established a series of sanctions against Venezuelan officials as a form of pressure to stop the installation of the Constituent Assembly.

“To the head of the empire we say to him: do not mess with Venezuela and we will repeat it as many times as necessary. From here we say: savage and barbarian empire do not mess with Venezuela, which will never surrender,” she claimed.

In a message to the international community, Delcy warned: “make no mistake about Venezuela”. “The message is clear; Venezuelans will solve our conflict between Venezuelans, without any foreign interference or imperial mandates.”

Several countries warned in recent days that they will not recognize the Constituent Assembly. The Vatican, joined in early Friday asking that its installation to be suspended, while Mercosur’s foreign ministers will meet in Brazil tomorrow to discuss whether to apply measures of punishment on Venezuela.

Rodriguez also denied that there is “hunger or humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela, because “what there is, is a determination to defend the country’s sovereignty.”

With the Constituent Assembly “we have sent a message to the peoples of the world, we tell them that it is possible to govern from the people, we say raise your face and take the political power”, she affirmed.

Rodríguez announced that tomorrow will be the first session of the Constituent Assembly, as it “begins to act in favor of the people.”

The Assembly was installed in the Federal Legislative Palace of Caracas, next to the hall of sessions of the National Assembly (Congress), which has an opposition majority and whose future is unknown.

12 thoughts on “Maduro Installs his Constituent Assembly amid Wave of Rejection

  • But, I’m almost sure you live in Europe, USA or Canada. I’m 100% sure you do not live in Cuba or Venezuela. Enjoy Capitalism before it fall. Because communism fell long time ago in Europe. And not one wants back.

  • If you believe what you write, you should depart post-haste for Venezuela and enjoy the reality, rather than any longer tolerating the free world. The US as a buyer, is entitled to purchase where it chooses. Would you suggest that it purchase nuclear weapons from North Korea?

  • There is a kink in your think. The US can buy oil from whoever it wishes. You would seem to imply that the US is somehow morally obliged to buy oil from Venezuela.

  • He won the election by the Electoral College. So far, a highly critical and independent media continues to cover his administration without fear of retribution by Trump. And so on. I don’t support Trump in any way but so far, he hasn’t tried to dissolve Congress and write a new Constitution.

  • The US is a fake democracy. Also a bully. Is it going to stop buying oil from Venezuela? Who are they to put sanctions on other countries? Like in Ukraine they gave many millions to the opposition in order to try to stem popular movements against the klepto neo-liberal world order. Capitalism is in crisis. Libya, after foreswearing nuclear weapons, was building a new African currency to give Africa an alternative to the $. For that they had to be destroyed.

  • Really?
    In what way does trump stake out any moral high ground?
    Because he got around 25% of the US electorate to vote for him?
    Because he achieved the approval of the KKK?
    I would be curious to know how long you think trumps going to try and continue clinging on to power??

  • Celebration by those who have conspired to make Venezuela a failed state. Forecast is for over 1,000% inflation. Pity the people of Venezuela!

  • I understand your point. I have a different perspective however. What I believe is that when even a morally bankrupt person like Donald Trump can stake out the moral high ground in his criticism of you, you must really be at the true bottom of the barrel.

  • Looking at the photo, it doesn’t appear that any of those people are suffering from a lack of calories or malnutrition. A lot of smiling faces… but they shouldn’t be so happy, because the lynch-mob is just around the corner.

  • I have never been to Venezuela so am no expert on that country.
    But for donald trump, of all people, to be questioning the Venezuelan President’s legitimacy?
    Surely that’s like The Devil accusing God of having horns and a pointy tail???

  • “Rodriguez also denied that there is ‘hunger or humanitarian crisis’ in Venezuela”. Venezuelan friends of mine here in San Francisco with relatives still living in Caracas tell a much different story. They say people are eating pets and zoo animals. They have also said that Cuban special military police are patrolling the streets in those neighborhoods where the Venezuelan army regulars are reluctant to police their neighbors. These Cubans are breaking into the homes of suspected opposition sympathizers in broad daylight and robbing them. A civil war can’t be too far off.

  • The assemble is a joke. This thing either falls soon or armed civil war will start shortly.

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