On Monday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court backed the removal of Deputy María Corina Machado from office, as proposed last week by President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello. The court ruled Machado’s recent attendance with the Organization of American States (OAS) unconstitutional — after Panama invited her to take its ambassador’s seat and present her views on Venezuela’s unfolding wave of street protests.
According to the Supreme Court website, “The ruling is based on the provisions of Articles 191 and 197 of the Venezuelan Constitution, which indicate that accepting other offices is forbidden for deputies of the National Assembly, except for teaching, academic, temporary or aid-related activities…” It also points out that according to Article 149 of the Constitution, government officials cannot accept employment or compensation from foreign governments without the approval of the National Assembly.
Machado claims that a deputy may be legally removed only due to “death, resignation, a recall referendum of their mandate, or by a final judgment after a preliminary hearing before the Supreme Court.” None of these conditions are met for her removal as deputy.
Machado called for a march for today at noon through Twitter to protest for the Court’s statement.
“They will not silence us. Today, more than ever, I am a deputy and assume my responsibility of voicing the concerns of Venezuelans inside or outside the National Assembly,” she said.
No lograrán silenciarnos .Hoy,más q nunca,soy Diputada y asumo mi responsabilidad d ser la voz d los venezolanos dentro y fuera d la AN
— María Corina Machado (@MariaCorinaYA) April 1, 2014