By Carlos Camacho
Already convulsed Venezuela woke up to a new electoral outrage Tuesday perpetrated by the ruling party, at about the same time the Organization of American States called for more and more stern sanctions against the Nicolas Maduro administration.
The oil-rich country is already preparing for polemical Presidential elections April 22nd, which the United States and other world and regional powers have said will not recognize.
PSUV, the ruling party of the Maduro regime, is asking the Constituent Assembly to hold that legislative elections be held April 22nd, with the aim of reducing the tenure of the opposition held National Assembly, a coup d’ grace after the government spent 2016 gutting the National Assembly of all real power through Supreme Court decisions and in 2017 appointed a supra constitutional Constituent Assembly in what the opposition called rigged elections.
Diosdado Cabello, the PSUV’s perpetual number two man, made the request for early legislative elections April 22nd, the same day as the divisive Presidential vote. "I announce as a proposal that I will take to the pertinent instances, to call, on the day of the Presidential elections, elections for the National Assembly also to fill that void”, Cabello said during a live interview on state televisión network.
Cabello repeated the PSUV’s argument that the opposition-held legislative “is not doing anything for the country”.
After the Constituent elections in late July, the US initiated a fresh round of sanctions against Maduro himself as well as other of his top officials, but the aggressive power grab continued undeterred with governor and mayor elections that the opposition also denounced. PSUV won all of these matches with margins unheard of in democracy, like 91% of all city mayors in one result.
Also on Tuesday, speaking from a UN forum on human rights in Geneva focusing on the Venezuelan crisis, Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro demanded “broader and stronger” sanctions against the Maduro regime, which he again accused of being “a threat for international peace and security”.
“Sanctions are the strongest diplomatic tool we have, so I am asking the (sovereign) states that they introduce more sanctions, broader sanctions and stronger sanctions against this regime (Maduro’s). Sanctions that will not harm the people of Venezuela, but the pockets of those that are appropriating whatever money is left”, Almagro said.