Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro continued lashing out against the opposition in the country, after it was hit with punishing economic sanctions earlier this month, charging three opposition lawmakers with treason and other crimes, Miami Herald writes.
But the country’s leadership stopped short of dissolving the National Assembly, the Venezuelan equivalent of Congress, or calling early legislative elections as some had feared.
On Monday, the country’s Supreme Court accused three opposition congressmen of treason, conspiracy and rebellion, among other charges.
Hours later, the National Constituent Assembly, controlled by Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela, stripped the lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity, a prelude to their being jailed.
The moves come after Washington on August 5 rolled out aggressive new sanctions that block U.S. and foreign companies from dealing with the Venezuelan government. Although the sanctions provide exemptions for food, medicine, clothing and humanitarian aid, the Maduro regime says they will lead to even more hardship and hunger in the beleaguered nation. And the regime blames the opposition-controlled assembly of supporting the move.
On Sunday, opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the United States and more than 50 other nations consider the country’s sole, legitimate leader, warned that the National Constituent Assembly, or ANC, was preparing to dissolve the National Assembly, which is considered the last bastion of representative democracy in the country.