Congress de­clares Maduro staged coup

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

A group of Su­danese got tired of wait­ing and re­turned to their spot in the camp, bags slung over their shoul­ders and laugh­ing. They said they’d try again on Tues­day.

But ba­sic in­for­ma­tion was lack­ing for many. “What should I do?” Asked a 14-year-old newly ar­rived Afghan.

Mah­moud Ab­drah­man, 31, from Su­dan, said he’d go Tues­day, too. He pulled a black knap­sack from his shel­ter to prove that he was ready.

“It’s not good, the jun­gle”, he said, com­plain­ing of in­ad­e­quate food and wa­ter and filthy toi­lets shared by hun­dreds.

Ul­ti­mately, Ab­drah­man wanted one thing more than any­thing else.

“I need peace,” he said, “any­where.” A group of mi­grants re­act as they wait to reg­is­ter at a pro­cess­ing cen­tre in the makeshift mi­grant camp known as "the jun­gle" near Calais, north­ern France, Mon­day. CARA­CAS (AP): VENEZUELA’S CONGRESS on Sun­day de­clared that the government had staged a coup by block­ing a drive to re­call Pres­i­dent Ni­colás Maduro in a rau­cous leg­isla­tive ses­sion that was in­ter­rupted when his sup­port­ers stormed the cham­ber.

Op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers vowed to put Maduro on trial af­ter a court friendly to his so­cial­ist ad­min­is­tra­tion on Thurs­day sus­pended their cam­paign to col­lect sig­na­tures to hold a ref­er­en­dum on re­mov­ing the deeply un­pop­u­lar pres­i­dent.

Law­maker Julio Borges said the op­po­si­tion-led congress is now in open re­bel­lion af­ter a ma­jor­ity of its mem­bers voted that the de­ci­sion con­sti­tuted a coup with government par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“We will bring a po­lit­i­cal trial against Pres­i­dent Ni­colás Maduro to get to the bot­tom of his role in the break with democ­racy and hu­man rights here,” Borges said.

A day of fiery speeches was briefly thrown into chaos when dozens of red-shirted protesters, who had been heck­ling op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers out­side the capi­tol, burst onto the floor. Law­mak­ers ran out of the path of protesters who chanted: “Congress will fall!”


It was not im­me­di­ately clear how the protesters en­tered the heav­ily guarded build­ing, which has been un­der the op­po­si­tion’s con­trol since it won leg­isla­tive elec­tions in a land­slide in De­cem­ber. The protesters be­gan to file out of the build­ing af­ter So­cial­ist party leader Jorge Ro­driguez called on them to leave, lead­ing the op­po­si­tion to charge that Ro­driguez was di­rect­ing the protest.

Op­po­si­tion spokesman Je­sus Tor­re­alba said the protest on the floor was a per­fect il­lus­tra­tion of the op­po­si­tion’s com­plaint that democ­racy has been sus­pended in the oil coun­try.

“The fact that law­mak­ers elected by 7.5 mil­lion peo­ple were si­lenced by 300 thugs sums up the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter than any speech could,” he said.

Leg­is­la­tors also pro­posed ef­forts to re­place na­tional elec­tions of­fi­cials and Supreme Court judges.

Amid se­vere short­ages and the world’s high­est in­fla­tion, polls sug­gest as much as 80 per cent of vot­ers want Maduro gone this year.

A push to take le­gal ac­tion against the pres­i­dent would throw the coun­try fur­ther into a con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis, but would prob­a­bly not pre­vail be­cause the ad­min­is­tra­tion con­trols the courts and other ma­jor institutions.


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