As the citizens of Venezuela work to gain access to basic resources amid days of ongoing power outages, the opposition could be facing a new legal challenge in its attempt to overthrow the current government.
The situation in Venezuela continues to worsen as millions of citizens across the country who were already struggling with access to basic resources, have now endured days of ongoing power outages.
The blackouts have resulted in a massive water crisis that has forced residents to form long lines in the streets as they wait for their turn to fill containers with water from street taps in the city. Workdays have also been shortened for employees who commute, and ongoing outages have forced schools to close for the last week.
President Nicolas Maduro presented a 30-day plan to ration electricity as a way to combat the current crisis, and said schools will open within the coming days. But some frustrated citizens resorted to protests and riots in response, setting fire to several vehicles in Caracas on Sunday night.
Despite ongoing support from the United States, opposition leader Juan Guaido could soon be facing a new legal challenge as Venezuela’s chief justice calls for him to be stripped of all immunity from prosecution.
The Supreme Court Justice requested that the pro-government National Constituent Assembly renounce the immunity given to Guaido as head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, so that he can be prosecuted for inciting violence against the government and receiving illicit funds.
“It is ordered to send certified copies of the current decision to the president of the National Constituent Assembly with the purpose of removing the parliamentary immunity of said citizen Juan Gerardo Antonio Guaido Marquez,” Supreme Court Justice Maikel Moreno said.
Guaido held a rally following the announcement, where he referred to the government as illegitimate, and dismissed the presence of police, even when they used tear gas on members of the crowd.
“Those who are afraid are those who use weapons, those who are afraid are those who use gas. We show ourselves at all times because we are not afraid, because we are going to keep on going and they can take their ban and do whatever they need,” Guaido said.
The mainstream media is also doing its part to fuel the fire by suggesting that the Trump Administration is not doing enough to respond to the presence of Russian military personnel in Venezuela, and alleging that although multiple U.S. officials have criticized involvement from Moscow, the lack of aggressive action is making Washington look weak.
When asked about the situation, President Trump referred to Venezuela as a “big fat mess,” and told reporters he plans to talk to President Putin about it “at some point.”
For now, Guaido is calling for his supporters to come together in a mass demonstration on April 6, to force Maduro to resign. He referred to the mission as “Operation Freedom”—a term that is incredibly similar to “Operation Enduring Freedom,” which was coined by the Bush Administration to describe the United States “War on Terrorism.”