Venezuela lawmakers strip opposition leader of his immunity

Venezuela lawmakers strip opposition leader of his immunity

Venezuela lawmakers strip opposition leader of his immunity

Up until now, Maduro has avoided throwing the 35-year-old lawmaker in jail - a man that the USA and roughly 50 other nations have recognized as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

Tuesday's vote was unanimous.

Tensions flared when Guaido declared himself acting president on January 23 - a move supported by the US and many European and Latin American countries.

"They don't care about the deaths. they don't have the slightest idea of what the consequences of war are for a country", Cabello said.

Monday's decision by the Supreme Court - which is controlled by Maduro loyalists - to call on the ruling Constituent Assembly legislature to strip Guaido of his immunity leaves the opposition leader open to prosecution for breaching a January 29 government ban on leaving the country.

Guaido - whose claim is recognized by over 50 countries - had earlier expressed fears of being abducted by government agents following a request by the Supreme Court to the Constituent Assembly to lift his parliamentary immunity.

"There is no way to stop people who are hungry, who are dying for lack of medicine, people who are in agony because the state does not provide them with basic public services", Krueger Sarmiento said.

"[Guaido's prosecution] is officially authorized", Cabello, who is also Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's right-hand man, said following the Constituent Assembly vote. The opposition leader is also accused of inciting violence through street protests, and of receiving illicit funds from overseas. The action must be approved by the National Assembly _ steps that weren't taken in Guaido's case. Its creation essentially replaced the National Assembly, rendering it powerless.

Guaido recognizes neither the court nor the Constituent Assembly and insisted the decision was invalid.

But the opposition leader has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks.

Last month, Venezuelan intelligence police raided the home of Mr Guaido's chief of staff in the middle of the night, accusing him of leading a "terrorist cell".

Guaido, the leader of Venezuela's National Assembly, was charged with violating a travel ban imposed on him for visiting Colombia.

Maduro blames Washington for trying to install a puppet government to seize Venezuela's vast oil reserves. "The government is reasserting its authority while also sending a clear signal to the opposition: we are in control". "This seems like an attempt to test the waters, weighing how the global community would react to detaining Guaido, " Ramsey said.

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