The Venezuelan National Assembly approved preliminary impeachment proceedings against Nicolás Maduro with 105 votes in favor (and 2 against), citing enough evidence linking him to acts of corruption regarding the Odebrecht scandal.
Although the step opens debate in the assembly, there will not be immediate effects at a national level since the country’s legitimate Supreme Court (TSJ) is exiled in Bogotá, Colombia. Yet it will give further leverage to foreign governments to disavow Maduro as president of Venezuela; and if he is found guilty, he could be officially be labeled a criminal.
Maduro is being charged with accepting bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and for money laundering.
During Tuesday’s parliamentary session, the opposition congressmen denounced that the regime shut down the Internet to prevent live transmissions, while state security forces prevented the media from entering the building.
Although Maduro’s regime, the chavista and illegitimate TSJ, as well as the illegal national prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, assured that the trial session “lacked legitimacy”, the 16 countries in the region that make up the Lima Group offered their full support to the National Assembly of Venezuela.
“This decision will not be recognized by the Government, but we must continue fulfilling our duty,” said congressman, Henry Ramos Allup.
Congressman Winston Flores told PanAm Post that the evidence against Nicolás Maduro “is sufficient”, adding that “this is a step forward, it represents progress in our continued struggle and resistance.” Flores said it is very likely that the authorities will do nothing, because a dictatorship rules Venezuela and there is no independence of powers.
“There is now another scenario, another international game with geopolitical positions where there is a legitimate Supreme Court (TSJ) recognized by different countries around the world; this is a fundamental step to achieve a transition, it is part of the struggle for democracy,” congressman Flores said.
“We know the regime will be in contempt of the National Assembly, also the illegitimate TSJ; we know that Maduro will not step down, but this is one step forward,” he said.
“If the regime wants to take us to court, that is their problem; our problem is to continue fighting for the freedom of Venezuela,” Flores added.
After Tuesday’s vote, the legitimate Supreme Court in exile will continue with the investigations of corruption. It is a process that could lead to an international arrest warrant against the dictator of the South American country.
The judicial power, which was appointed by the National Assembly with an opposition majority, was never properly installed in Venezuela due to the persecution by the Nicolás Maduro regime. A situation that forced its members to go into exile and to establish a Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) abroad.
The TSJ in exile is not only recognized by the Organization of American States (OAS), but also has the support of the European Parliament.
Credit: Pan Am Post, https://panampost.com