Chavistas Seize Appointment of LatAm Reps from Popular Vote


EspañolOn Tuesday, April 14, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved a new law that will change the way representatives are chosen for the Latin-American Parliament (Parlatino). The law makes it so the Assembly itself will select Parlatino deputies, rather than through direct elections as mandated by the country’s Constitution.

Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly and director of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), asked the plenary session of the Assembly to send an urgent message to the National Electoral Council (CNE) notifying it that “a direct election will not be necessary for the selection of members to the Latin-American parliament”.

The proposal, approved by the Chavista majority, originated after members of the Venezuelan opposition met with the new Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro, and explained the situation of political prisoners in Venezuela. Cabello criticized the Assembly members for not “asking permission” before delivering the letter to Almagro.

Opposition congressmen spoke out through social media to denounce the “coup in the Venezuelan Parliament.”

“Diosdado Cabello is violating the constitution and carrying out a coup d’état by disalowing elections for Parlatino and Parlasur.”

“Cabello just eliminated, through authoritarian means, elections for Parlatino. They know they will lose if we vote.”

Representative Delsa Solórzano, from the opposition party A New Era (UNT), said via her Twitter account that she believes the decision is unconstitutional, violates several decrees, and threatens popular sovereignty.

“It violates the direct election of indigenous peoples. It violates human rights. It demonstrates PSUV fears electoral results.”

On Tuesday, El Universal reported a proposal by the CNE will see less opposition deputies selected in the next election. The proposal would lower the number of legislators from regions that traditionally vote for the opposition, and increase the number of congressmen from areas that support the ruling party.

Before being enacted, the National Assembly must first verify population figures with the National Institute of Statistics, and the majority of election rectors must approve the change.

Venezuelans will select new representatives to the National Assembly this year, however, the CNE has not yet announced the date of the election.

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