A dozen foreign ministers from across the Americas have condemned Venezuela’s new constituent assembly, saying their governments will refuse to recognise the all-powerful body.
Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro convoked the constituent assembly in what he says is an attempt to resolve the nation’s political standoff but opposition leaders contend it is a power grab.
Although the meeting in Peru was not unanimous 12 out of 17 ministers called Venezuela a “dictatorship”.
Peruvian Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna:
“What has happened in Venezuela with the establishment of the Constitutional Assembly is a definite break with what we’ve seen up until now. That’s to say, the recent destruction its democratic institutions has reached a tipping point, and what we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship.”
Meanwhile in Venezuela its National guard escorted members of the controversial Constituent Assembly into the Legislative Palace in Caracas.
The move took members of the opposition-led national assembly by surprise who were prevented from entering the building. Among them opposition deputy José Guerra:
“A contingent of the National Guard with the President of the National Assembly took the Assembly by force where parliament operates.”
During the meeting members of the new constituent assembly declared itself superior to all other branches of government.
The order bars deputies in congress from interfering with the laws passed by the pro-government super-body.
Our correspondent in Caracas, Eduardo Salazar Uribe summed up the mood saying that opposition deputies have vowed that if they can not sit in parliament to do their work they will do so in the streets.