Venezuela's Opposition to Step Up Street Protests after Referendum

Venezuela's Opposition to Step Up Street Protests after Referendum

Venezuela's Opposition to Step Up Street Protests after Referendum

Millions of Venezuelans voted to reject President Nicolas Maduro's plans to rewrite the constitution, but their votes likely won't have an impact.

Separately, journalist Luis Olavarrieta was kidnapped, robbed and beaten by what he said was a a group of government supporters, but managed to escape.

"The regime must know that we - all of us - will not allow Venezuela to be destroyed", said Freddy Guevara, the vice president of the opposition-controlled congress. Citizens were invited to answer yes or no to three questions, dealing with Maduro's call for a new Constitutional Assembly, the recent role of the Bolivarian National Guard in repressing protests inside the country and the renewal of government powers.

President Maduro's plan will see a vote on 30 July for the new constituent assembly.

For the past several months, Venezuelans have taken to the streets in opposition of President Maduro.

"I won't be intimidated", Venezuela's president said in a speech at the presidential palace.

Which is why, over the weekend, Maduro confidently huddled with cabinet ministers and leaders of his socialist party and assured them the constituyente will begin as planned on July 30 with the election of a special constitutional assembly.

But it's doubtful the administration believes its own propaganda.

Nearly simultaneously, american diplomacy has said, to "encourage the governments of the american continent and around the world to call for president Maduro to suspend this process that seeks only to undermine democracy in Venezuela", according to a press release from the department of State sent out shortly after that of the president. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday it sent an "unmistakable statement" to Maduro and his Government. "The mandate the people have given us is clear". "We can't let this turn into a civil war".

Opposition leaders held an unofficial referendum in which 7million people voted against the proposed rewrite.

It risked fueling Maduro's frequent allegations that he was the victim of a plot by a colluding right-wing opposition and the "imperialist" United States.

"Any unilateral sanctions that the US can take will be counterproductive", he said. Do you demand that the National Armed Forces and all public officials obey and defend the Constitution of 1999 and support the decisions of the National Assembly?

What's more: Most of Venezuela's foreign reserves aren't even in hard cash.

"We want to be counted in a way so we can show the government and the world that we want elections, we want the rule of law to be reinstated in Venezuela because it has been violated", she said.

A coalition of some 20 opposition parties met Monday to call for a "zero hour" campaign of civil disobedience in the two weeks leading to the government vote.

Julio Borges, head of the opposition-run National Assembly, said that he hopes the popular consultation will serve as "a great quake that shakes the conscience of those in power".

Related news