Venezuela’s opposition led legislature declared Sunday that President Nicolas Maduro’s government has committed a coup by blocking a referendum on vetoing him from power.
Angered over authorities’ decision to call off the process of calling for a recall vote, opposition legislators passed a resolution declaring “the breakdown of constitutional order” and “a coup d’etat committed by the Nicolas Maduro regime.”
The lawmakers urged Venezuelans to “actively defend” the constitution, declaring they would seek help from international community to restore democracy.
“An ongoing coup d’etat has been perpetrated in Venezuela, culminating in the decision to rob us of a recall referendum. We’re here to officially declare the regrettable and painful rupture of constitutional order,” said majority leader Julio Borges of the center-right opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).
Meanwhile Pro-Maduro faction of legislators accused the opposition itself trying to stage a coup.
“Don’t try to take advantage of these hard times to finish off our nation,” deputy Earle Herrera said.
The opposition accused the Supreme court of the country saying it was acting as a Maduro lapdog. The court has slapped every measure by opposition when it took over the legislature.
Dual nationality of Maduro—Colombian and Venezuelan- itself created huge uproar among opposition which would make him constitutionally invalid to continue as President.
The opposition had been gearing up for a move to collect signatures from four million voters demanding a recall vote starting Wednesday. Being discouraged by the authorities on this, opposition has called for nationwide protests.
Hit by the fall of global oil prices, the South American oil giant is facing wave of protests galvanized by divided opposition in recent months.
Nicolas Maduro, heir of great Venezuelan Socialist leader Hugo Chavez is facing a huge public image problem since the economy has crashed on. Maduro, dismissed the protests by opposition as elitists and fascistic.
The developments come at a time when Latin American Socialist countries facing anti- incumbency protests. Impeachment of Dilma Rouseff from power in Brazil, dethroning of Cristina Fernandez government in Argentina are another in the row continuing to rock socialist governments.