Venezuela National Assembly: No new president because the army took the legislative building

LAS VEGAS (Jan 10, 2019) — Today Venezuela’s National Assembly was scheduled to choose a new President of the Republic, to be ratified by the Supreme Court in exile.

They were unable to do so because downtown Caracas has been militarized and the Bolivarian army and police occupied the legislative building last night. They have not allowed anyone in or near the building, according to opposition leaders in Caracas.

“The militarization of Caracas isn’t all. The Assembly hasn’t eveb reached a quorum yet because there’s a genuine lack of political will, especially members of the MUD ‘opposition’ coalition, to challenge Maduro.” These are the words of the Libertarian Movement’s national coordinator Yomar Moreno.

“Instead of choosing a provisional president like they were supposed to, there’s now a vacant position, because Maduro’s so-called second term is illegal and illegitimate. The collaborators in the Assembly don’t want a provisional president.”

The Mises-Mambi Institute of Cuba is a network of grassroots volunteers in the US and Havana that doubles as a free market think tank and human rights watchdog group. In symbolic defiance of the Castro regime’s working alliance with the Chavez-Maduro state, we’re currently assisting dissidents in Venezuela and we have a strong preference for ideological libertarians. Hence our interest in the Venezuelan affairs.

For the time being, Venezuela’s main body of libertarians in the Libertarian Movement, other libertarians in the political party Vente Venezuela, and still other pro-freedom dissidents in the I Am Venezuela Alliance (Alianza Soy Venezuela) endorse the provisional government for the sole purpose of peacefully forcing Maduro to step down immediately. The Libertarian Movement of Venezuela said this week in a statement:

“The 112 deputies have the obligation to appoint a transitional government, now that on January 10 the incumbent President’s term officially expires; and since there is no president-elect, the Legitimate President of the National Assembly should fill the power vacuum to convene new elections with a Legitimate National Electoral Consent and in Freedom.”

Maduro convened a new Constituent National Assembly in 2017 to be his rubber-stamp assembly, and he used it to officially dissolve the National Assembly, write a new constitution giving him more power, and then they dissolved all of Venezuela’s non-Marxist political parties in 2018.

Maduro was “re-elected” in a special election with a historically low turnout of 25%, prompting the Soy Venezuela Alliance and multiple Latin American governments to denounce the election as a sham. He was sworn in today for a second term which most Venezuelans, including the Libertarians, denunce as illegal and illegitimate. The legitimate National Assembly is planning to reconvene elsewhere while the Bolivarian security forces still hold the legislative building.

Once a provisional president is named and ratified, Venezuela may have peace, or there may be violence between supporters of two opposing governments. The situation is unclear since over 4,000 Bolivarian soldiers deserted from the army in December 2018 alone, according to the Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo (who cited the rightwing opposition group Rumbo Libertad). This potential violence would be layered on top of the already rampant criminal violence and the ongoing invasion of Venezuela by Colombian guerrilla units.

The Mises-Mambi Institute is in direct contact with the leaders of the Libertarian Movement, with state and national leaders in Vente Venezuela, and other dissidents opposed to the Maduro regime. These Venezuelans are asking the international community for their help!

First, the American public is invited to join the Chancellery of Paraguay and the Libertarian parties of Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador in calling for Maduro to step aside and accept the provisional government’s existence. It’s urgently requested that American (including Cuban-American) civic leaders make public statements condemning Maduro’s unrecognized dictatorship and supporting Venezuela’s transitional government.

American freedom activists can be ready to lobby for statements of support from respected elected leaders like former Congressman Ron Paul, Senators like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, and Representatives Justin Amash and Thomas Massie.

Anyone can help by emailing this news release to people in news media with an interest in Latin America or developing countries. The best way is to find stories about Venezuela and reach out to those reporters directly on Facebook and Twitter. We recommend starting with international outlets like the BBC, Al Jazeera and Martí News

Then there’s social media boosting. There are large liberty community groups on Facebook, plus people on other social networks, where posting at the right hour makes a big impact. People can go to the Mises-Mambi Institute’s Facebook and Twitter pages for breaking updates on the situation as reported by journalists and activists on the ground. Spanish speakers are invited to follow the Libertarian Movement of Venezuela and the Soy Venezuela Alliance.

Anyone who knows people in NGOs that do food and/or medical care and/or refugee shelters is welcome to contact the Institute and we can together figure out ways for them to help sick and malnourished civilians.

The point of contact for more information is Zach Foster, the Venezuelan Libertarians’ spokesman in the United States. You can email him directly at politicalzachfoster@gmail.com or reach out to the Institute on Facebook.

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The Mises-Mambi Institute of Cuba is currently awaiting federal accreditation as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, but its members are already very active as individuals. Visit us at our website at Mises-Mambi.org.

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