Maduro Government Strips Opposition Leader Guaido of Immunity

Geraldine Edwards
April 6, 2019

Juan Guaido, President of National Assembly and self-proclaimed interim president waves to the gallery during a session of the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

The court had been investigating Guaido for usurping Maduro's powers by declaring himself interim president on January 23.

Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, has been engaged in a power struggle with Maduro since January, when he declared himself president and was immediately recognized by the United States and dozens of other countries.

On Monday, Venezuela's Supreme Court requested the Constituent Assembly to strip Guaido of parliamentary immunity over his violation of a ban on leaving the country.

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"This formally authorises the continuation of the trial (of Guaido)", said Constituent Assembly Chief Diosdado Cabello, who is also the Vice President of the Socialist Party. "They don't have the slightest idea of what the consequences of war are for a country". The opposition leader is also accused of inciting violence through street protests, and of receiving illicit funds from overseas.

"They don't care about deaths", he said.

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The Constituent Assembly's decree is necessary for the Supreme Court to move ahead with a trial of Mr. Guaido because as a legislator he has parliamentary immunity that makes it more hard for him to be tried than the average citizen. Its creation essentially replaced the National Assembly, rendering it powerless.

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In recent weeks, Guaido has come under increasing pressures.

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