It was only yesterday when Venezuela’s supreme court cleared the way for Nicolas Maduro’s hand-picked “legislature” to strip opposition leader Juan Guaido’s parliamentary immunity from prosecution. As the old saying goes, that didn’t take long. By this morning, the so-called “Constituent Assembly” had done as Nicolas Maduro directed and opened the door to a Supreme Kangaroo Court trial of the self-declared interim president. (Reuters)
Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful legislature controlled by the ruling Socialist Party, on Tuesday approved a measure allowing for a trial of opposition leader Juan Guaido, in what appeared to be step toward having him arrested.
Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, in January invoked the country’s constitution to assume the interim presidency after declaring President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election a fraud…
The Constituent Assembly’s decree is necessary for the Supreme Court to move ahead with a trial of Guaido because as a legislator he has parliamentary immunity that makes it more difficult for him to be tried than the average citizen.
It’s been obvious what’s going on here from the beginning. Maduro approved every member of the Supreme Court and organized the new Constituent Assembly so that it would be dominated by his supporters in the Socialist Party. They all do his bidding. Currently, they are walking through the steps in what’s left of the country’s constitution, putting on a show to make it look as if everything is being handled in a legal fashion.
The reality is that Maduro wants Guaido out of the picture so things can return to “normal” around the presidential palace. The dictator apparently isn’t comfortable enough with his hold on power to simply assassinate Guaido in the streets with the whole world watching, so the next best thing would be to toss him in prison until people forget about him. The constitution was clearly written with protections for the leader of the National Assembly specifically to avoid this sort of abuse of power, but since Maduro controls all of the key players, they can make an “exception” in Guaido’s case.
Given the pace they’re moving at, don’t be shocked if we learn that Juan Guaido has been arrested by the end of the day. A trial could start in a matter of weeks or even days, and Maduro’s judges will bring Guaido in guilty and probably give him the maximum penalty. (That would be fifteen years in this case.) And for what? Defying an order preventing him from leaving the country for meetings with foreign leaders and supposed “irregularities” in his campaign finance reports.
Socialism is just awesome, isn’t it, kids? All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. And when you catch the attention of the more equal animals in a bad way, you quickly learn just how evenly the power is distributed. If Guaido has a lick of sense and any opportunity he should flee the country while he has the chance.