Venezuela’s Congress has backed a resolution declaring President Nicolas Maduro has “abandoned his post”.
It’s the latest symbolic gesture by opposition law makers who since they won a sweeping majority in 2015 have been hamstrung by a hostile Supreme Court.
They really want a recall referendum on Maduro’s rule.
President of the National Assembly, Julio Borges stressed the point:
“We demand an electoral solution to Venezuela’s crisis, so that the people can express themselves through a vote, That is what this National Assembly is calling for.”
Critics blame President Maduro for triple-digit inflation and Soviet-style shortages. He says he’s the victim of an ‘economic war’ led by his political adversaries with the support of Washington.
On hearing of the Congressional vote the Venezuelan leader joked that he didn’t know if he was still president.
He then added that while he was waiting to find out he would use the time to stress that despite all of the criticism he is an honest man.
While the political standoff goes on, angry Venezuelans are having to cope with soaring prices, food and medical shortages and a currency which is rapidly becoming worthless.
Meanwhile, Maduro has announced that this month, the Venezuelan economy will receive new 500, 5,000 and 20,000 Bolivars, a decision that is in the midst of a complex crisis dominated by overflowing three-digit inflation.
The bills will be in circulation starting January 16.
The president decided last month to remove the circulation of the 100 Bolivars, which are the largest denomination, to combat the smuggling of paper currency into Colombia.
Maduro is due to remain in office until 2019.