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Venezuela parliament says Nicolas Maduro regime staged coup d'etat

By
Andrew V. Pestano
On Sunday, pro-President Nicolas Maduro protesters broke into Venezuela's National Assembly chamber during an emergency session that was scheduled after the country's electoral body postponed the opposition's efforts to recall Maduro. Photo courtesy of National Assembly
On Sunday, pro-President Nicolas Maduro protesters broke into Venezuela's National Assembly chamber during an emergency session that was scheduled after the country's electoral body postponed the opposition's efforts to recall Maduro. Photo courtesy of National Assembly

CARACAS, Venezuela, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Venezuela's National Assembly on Sunday declared President Nicolas Maduro's regime carried out a coup d'etat after the opposition's efforts to recall the embattled leader were postponed.

During an emergency session, members of the opposition-controlled unicameral legislature declared last week's National Electoral Council, or CNE, decision to postpone the process to initiate a recall referendum against Maduro was a coup d'etat that resulted in the breaking down of constitutional order.

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The parliamentary session was temporarily interrupted by pro-Maduro protesters who stormed the National Assembly's chamber in Caracas. The demonstrators were outside of the building but pushed back security guards and entered the chamber.

"At this moment, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela within the National Assembly shows what they have left! There are no ideas, arguments -- only violence!" Henrique Capriles Radonski, a former presidential candidate who is governor of Venezuela's Miranda state, said in a statement. "We will defeat them with the Constitution!"

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The opposition parliament's resolution calls for Venezuelans nationwide to stand up in defense of the constitution, urges international organizations -- such as the Organization of American States -- to help defend Venezuelans and calls on Venezuela's security agencies to disregard any order passed by Maduro's regime that is considered unconstitutional or that goes against human rights.

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The opposition also targeted the country's highest court, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, and the CNE. The resolution calls for new justices to be named to the court and for new members to be appointed to the CNE as both institutions have repeatedly been accused of working in favor of Maduro's socialist regime.

The South American country is facing a political and economic crisis where basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable. The United Nation's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean predicts Venezuela's gross domestic product will decrease 4 percent in 2017.

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