Two former Latin American presidents said the world is running out of time to find a solution to the crisis in Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro aims to consolidate power over the country.
Despite widespread protests, Maduro’s push to “put a group of his friends in what is called a ‘constituent assembly,’ would be the end of democracy and the annihilation of the Republic of Venezuela,” said Jorge Quiroga, former president of Bolivia.
That election “will install a Soviet state in Venezuela, liquidate democracy, end the Congress, cancel elections and turn Venezuela into a sort of Caribbean ‘North Korea’,” he said.
Joined by former Colombian President Andres Pastrana, Quiroga spoke to journalists at the Vatican on 23rd June on the deteriorating situation in Venezuela and attempts to diffuse the crisis following their meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
Protests began after 29th March, when the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled to dissolve the country’s parliament, in which the opposition had a two-thirds majority following the 2015 elections. The unprecedented ruling transferred legislative powers to the Supreme Court, which is comprised of judges nominated by Maduro.
Picture: Opposition protesters clash with Venezuelan government forces on 22nd June in Caracas. (CNS photo/Miguel Gutierrez, Reuters).