Sun, Aug 06, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Venezuelan assembly vows swift action

‘JUSTICE’:Delcy Rodriguez, who heads the body, said it was not going to wait to act against ‘violent fascists’ and those who wage economic or psychological war

AP, CARACAS

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, center, walks hand-in-hand with his wife, Cilia Flores, center left, who is beside former Venezuelan minister of foreign affairs Delcy Rodriguez, front row second left, at a military parade in Caracas on Friday.

Photo: Reuters

The head of Venezuela’s newly installed constitutional assembly pledged to move quickly against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s political opponents, beginning as early as the all-powerful body’s second meeting yesterday.

Former Venezuelan minister of foreign affairs Delcy Rodriguez’s nomination as leader was unanimously approved by the assembly’s 545 delegates in Friday’s session, which was held despite strong criticism from Washington and Venezuela’s opposition, which say the body might be a tool for imposing a dictatorship.

Supporters say it will pacify a country rocked by violent protests.

Rodriguez said it would be taking action against the socialist government’s opponents.

“Don’t think we’re going to wait weeks, months or years,’’ she said on Friday. “Tomorrow we start to act. The violent fascists, those who wage economic war on the people, those who wage psychological war, justice is coming for you.”

The Constituent Assembly is tasked with rewriting the 1999 constitution into a charter that Maduro has promised will end the turmoil rocking his impoverished yet oil-rich nation.

On Friday, the body took over an ornate chamber under a golden dome in the Legislative Palace in Caracas at the far end of a building shared with the opposition-run legislature, the National Assembly.

Elected a week ago amid protests and international objections, the Constituent Assembly has powers to override every branch of government.

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