The attorney general, Luisa Ortega, denounced the intervention of the army before the seat of the prosecution. She was dismissed from her duties by the Constituent.
The Venezuela is still immersed in chaos this Saturday, August 5 while the Constituent Assembly held its inaugural session on Friday. According to Attorney General Luisa Ortega, one of the main opponents of President Nicolás Maduro, the army besieged the parquet floor in Caracas. “I reject the seat of the public prosecutor. I denounce this arbitrary act before the national and international community, “Ortega wrote on Twitter. Photos published by the press office of the prosecutor’s office corroborate this statement. The photographs show soldiers of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) positioning themselves at the accesses and around the seat of the floor.
A few hours later, the constituent, endowed with unlimited powers, dismissed the magistrate, who will be replaced temporarily by the “defender of the people” Tarek William Saab. The Assembly also decided that it would sit for a maximum of two years. “I do not recognize these decisions … because they go against the Constitution and the law,” Luisa Ortega said in the evening, denouncing “a coup against the Constitution”.
Venezuela, persona non grata in Mercosur
Faced with this new chaotic sequence, the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay decided to suspend Venezuela Mercosur politically, “for breaking the democratic order”, said The South American common market in a statement. This clause, entitled “Ushuaia Protocol”, had been used only once before in 2012 to sanction Paraguay after the dismissal of President Fernando Lugo.
“The suspension was applied because of the actions of Nicolás Maduro’s government and is a call for an immediate start of a process of political transition and restoration of the democratic order,” said the statement sent by the founding Mercosur following a meeting in São Paulo, Brazil. Venezuela has already been sidelined from the South American common market since December for commercial reasons. But the invocation of the democratic clause aims at obtaining a greater political repercussion.
“Our soul, our heart, our life are Mercosur”
President Maduro quickly reacted to the ban, hammering that he would “never” be excluded from Mercosur. “Venezuela will not be excluded from Mercosur. Never. Our soul, our heart, and our life are Mercosur, “the head of the Socialist State said on an Argentine radio, assuring that the attempts of the Brazilian governments (” coup plotters “) or Argentine (” miserable ” ) Were doomed to failure.
In practice, this suspension does not imply an exclusion from Mercosur, but its impact is far superior to other sanctions taken before. “The suspension will not be lifted (…) until the other members of the group have considered that the democratic order has been fully restored,” the statement said.
Maduro had threatened to “take the warrant” from the Attorney General
On Friday, August 4, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called for measures to protect Luisa Ortega in Venezuela, believing that her life was under threat. Appointed in 2007 as Attorney General by the late Hugo Chávez, the magistrate is the main institutional figure to challenge his successor, Nicolás Maduro. She denounced a breakdown of the constitutional order with the election on July 30 of a Constituent Assembly holding all the powers, which held on Friday its inaugural meeting of which the general prosecutor had asked the justice the cancellation.
The services of Luisa Ortega explained that this request was based on “the presumed commission of offenses during the electoral process” of 30 July. The prosecutor’s office opened an investigation Wednesday, following the revelations of the British company Smartmatic responsible for the voting that considers “manipulated” the official figures of participation. According to the company, the difference between the actual participation and that announced by the authorities is “at least one million votes”. In the aftermath of the election, Mr. Maduro had threatened to “take the mandate” of the Attorney General, who had denounced “a dictatorial ambition”.