Venezuela opposition lawmakers reject decrees by new assembly, call for nationwide protest

Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature refused to recognize any of the decrees issued by a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly convened by embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

In a vote Monday, the legislature opted unanimously in favor of disavowing the super-body's decisions to replace the nation's outspoken chief prosecutor with a government loyalist and create a "truth commission" that will wield unusual power to prosecute and levy punishments. Maduro says the new commission should hold opposition leaders accountable for the current wave of political unrest. 

Opposition lawmaker Delsa Solorzano said the purpose of the truth commission is to "persecute those who think differently." 

The pro-government constitutional assembly is ruling with virtually unlimited authority and is expected to meet again Tuesday. 

Lawmakers also urged Venezuelans to abandon their homes and workplaces at midday on Tuesday and take to the streets to block traffic and bring the nation to a standstill. 

The opposition has been struggling to regain its footing since last week's seating of a loyalist special assembly to rewrite Venezuela's constitution. But opposition lawmaker Juan Requenses predicts it won't take long to remobilize foes of the socialist administration. 

In Requenses words: "Maduro knows this country is ungovernable. The only thing he wants today is for us to abandon the street."

 

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