Venezuela wants Guyana’s support in bid to end unrest

first_imgThe Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is calling on the Government and people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to support its efforts to end the ongoing unrest with which it has been plagued over the past months.Speaking on Monday at a press conference at the Venezuelan Embassy in Georgetown, Venezuelan Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency Ambassador Reina Diaz, pointed out that President Nicholas Maduro has made clear his intention to rid his country of the ongoing protest in a peaceful and democratic manner.The Ambassador declared that this unrest has been caused by “radical sectors of the political opposition” who have a clear objective to “overthrow the legitimate and constitutional” Government of Venezuela and reverse the social achievements of the Venezuelan people.She noted that at the international level, Guyana can support the actions taken by the Venezuelan Government to resolve the situation in that country; and in this regard, Venezuela has already seen support from the region, including CARICOM governments and CILAC.President Maduro had earlier this month signed a decree to convene a new Constituent Assembly which would comprise of some 500 constituents — mainly working class members who will be tasked with developing a new constitution; that is, reshaping the current legislative body as well as redefining the President’s executive powers.The Maduro Administration claims this move is aimed at restoring in the country the peace which was disrupted by the Opposition’s “so-called peaceful” protests, occasioned by the deadlock between the President and the opposition-controlled Parliament.The Venezuelan Government, which has of recent come under pressure to address the growing unrest in the country, has cited Articles 347, 348 and 349 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in support of its move. The country’s constitution, reformed in 1999, includes provisions for the Executive to convoke a Constituent Assembly.According to Article 347, the original constituent power rests with the Venezuelan people, and this power can be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new judicial order, and drawing up a new Constitution.The subsequent Article provide various options to invoke the National Constituent Assembly; that is, by the President, with the Council of Ministers; by a decision of two-thirds of the Members of the National Assembly; the Municipal Council members by vote of two-thirds of its members; and by 15 per cent of the voters registered in the civil and electoral register.According to Ambassador Diaz, the move to convene a Constituent Assembly allows for the people of the country to sit and debate on the country’s situation with intention to establish formulas to encourage national dialogue.“I think that the call that President Maduro has done through the Constituent Assembly shows how democratic President Maduro is; because the call to the National Assembly is a mechanism that allows the dialogue between the parties (to be) a dialogue in peace, a dialogue in democracy, and a dialogue where the people have the last word,” the Venezuelan Diplomat stated.Venezuela Ambassador to Guyana Reina Diaz along with embassy official Luis Dias at Monday’s press conferenceWhile President Maduro is now ready to transfer power into the hands of the Venezuelan citizenry, the move has been rejected by the Opposition. But the Ambassador noted that while the Opposition had stated that such a move is not necessary, its members had pushed for a Constituent Assembly back in 2014 and 2015.The Venezuelan Diplomat has also taken a swing at media corporations, accusing them of portraying a false picture of what the reality is in that country. She claimed that these corporations have failed to report on attacks carried out on citizens and law enforcement by the Opposition parties’ supporters.“The Opposition, funded by foreign aid and with media support, have created a matrix of hatred, persecution and aggression towards Government officials and to all those who sympathise with the Bolivarian thinking… Large media corporations tried to make people believe that there are violent protests all over the country, when in fact most of the manifestations have mainly occurred in three states,” Ambassador Diaz explained, adding that there are 24 states in the country.Venezuela has been embroiled in deep economic and political turmoil since last year; and over the past four weeks, there have been almost daily protests by those who blame President Maduro for the dire state of the country’s economy. Protesters are calling on him to resign.It has been reported that nearly 30 persons have been killed in protest-related violence since the beginning of April.The requests made of the Guyana Government by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela come in spite of its border controversy with Guyana; in which, back in 2015, it has claimed more than half of Guyana’s territorial waters off the Essequibo Coast, and has steadfastly maintained that it does not recognise the 1899 Tribunal Award that settled its border dispute with Guyana.last_img