Venezuelan prosecutor: Reject President Maduro's plans for a new constitution

Venezuelan prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz is a former Hugo Chavez loyalist who has become increasingly disillusioned with the direction the revolution has been taking over the past year. Now Diaz has made her biggest break with the government yet, asking people to reject socialist President Maduro’s attempts to rewrite the constitution. From the Associated Press:

Grasping a copy of the nation’s blue constitution book in her hands on the steps of the Supreme Court, Luisa Ortega Diaz said she was acting to defend both the embattled nation’s constitution and its very democracy.

“What’s at play here is the country,” she said. “The integrity of Venezuelans.”…

The nation’s chief prosecutor also decried Maduro and his top administration officials for employing what she termed “violent calls” to participate in the constitutional assembly. Maduro has frequently referred to opposition members refusing to participate in the assembly as “fascist terrorists.” Crowds at pro-government events frequently call for them to be jailed.

“We can’t live in a country like this,” Diaz Ortega said.

Diaz has previously criticized the plan to rewrite the constitution but now she is acting to block it by asking the Supreme Court to block it. This makes her an opponent of the ruling government, not just a critic.

Diaz has become a leading voice of opposition over the past few months. In March she denounced the Supreme Court’s attempted takeover of the National Assembly. In April she issued a carefully worded statement denouncing violence without blaming anyone in particular. Then last month she announced an investigation had determined a 20-year-old protester was killed by state security forces, not by another protester as the government had claimed.