The Venezuelan president Maduro is willing to rewrite the constitution of 1999 to end the country’s severe economic (and political) problems. Therefore, a constituent assembly will be elected on July 30 to draft a new version.
Opponents of the Maduro government fear that the constituent assembly could be a means of centralizing power in the president’s hands by constituting a body of extra-legislative power filled with handpicked supporters thereby circumventing the official legislative body, the Parliament. As a reaction, protests of opponents almost happen on a daily basis. On Sunday 16, many protesters articulated their concerns in an unofficial vote and rejected the president’s plan whereas supporters of the government were demonstrating in favor of the constituent assembly at the same time.
Meanwhile the rhetorical warfare between the Venezuelan government and (domestic and international) opponents continues. Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez has condemned the alleged attacks of the USA and “the fascist Venezuelan opposition” to discredit the government. U.S. president Donald Trump’s reaction followed quickly: “If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will take strong and swift economic actions.”