US condemns ‘power grab’ by new Venezuelan assembly

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon/Files) Top News

Condemning the assumption of legislative powers by the “illegitimate” constituent assembly, the US has said the “power grab” is designed to supplant the democratically-elected National Assembly with an authoritarian committee operating above the law.

Venezuela’s new pro-government constitutional authority yesterday formally declared that it was seizing legislative power from the opposition-led legislature, tightening President Nicolas Maduro’s hold on power in defiance of calls for elections. “In our view, the democratically-elected National Assembly is the only legitimate legislative body,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Friday.

“The United States strongly condemns the assumption of legislative powers by the illegitimate Constituent Assembly.
This power grab is designed to supplant the democratically-elected National Assembly with an authoritarian committee operating above the law,” she said in a statement.

Nauert said the US joins Venezuela’s neighbours in condemning the illegitimate Constituent Assembly and its authoritarian directives. “As long as the Maduro regime continues to conduct itself as an authoritarian dictatorship, we are prepared to bring the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to bear in support of the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore their democracy,” she said.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that destruction of Venezuela’s democracy continues as Maduro’s illegitimate Constituent Assembly seizes democratic National Assembly’s powers.

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