Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly strips opposition leader Guaido of immunity

Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly strips opposition leader Guaido of immunity

Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly, which Maduro has stripped of power, was due to approve a law on Tuesday offering guarantees to public sector employees in the face of pressure to support the government.

The Constituent Assembly's decree is necessary for the Supreme Court to move ahead with a trial of Mr. Guaido because as a legislator he has parliamentary immunity that makes it more hard for him to be tried than the average citizen.

But whether the government of president Nicolas Maduro will take action against the 35-year-old lawmaker following the Constituent Assembly's decision remains unclear.

"They don't care about the deaths, " Cabello said. But it is still unclear whether Maduro will actively threaten Guaido, who has embarked on an worldwide campaign to topple the president's socialist administration.

"We're going to call things by their name: It's political persecution in Venezuela, harassment and state terrorism".

"The situation is very hard, we have endured hunger, we have no electricity or water".

The opposition leader is also accused of inciting violence linked to street protests and receiving illicit funds from overseas. The Constituent Assembly, loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, has been convoked on his initiative without a referendum.

Guaido dismissed the Maduro-stacked high court as illegitimate and continued his calls for Maduro to step down and citizens to protest. The U.S. has explicitly warned against harming the opposition leader and has stepped up sanctions on Venezuela and the regime's officials.

In recent weeks, the government has barred Mr Guaido from travelling, frozen his bank accounts, begun investigating him on terrorism accusations, and prohibited him from running for office.

The Supreme Court has already banned Mr Guaido from holding office for 15 years and arrested his chief of staff on terrorism charges.

The Supreme Court froze Guaido's assets and prohibited him from leaving the country, but he slipped across the Colombian border in February to tour Latin America and sit down with a half dozen heads of state as he whipped up regional and global support. Maduro blames Washington of attempting a coup to overthrow him and install Guaido's puppet government aimed at seizing Venezuela's vast oil reserves. But the opposition-controlled chamber has not done endorsed the decision. "This seems like an attempt to test the waters, weighing how the worldwide community would react to detaining Guaido, " Ramsey said.

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