Venezuelan president installs

File photo shows Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (L) speaks during a homage ceremony of late former Cuban leader Fidel Castro at the 4F military fort in Caracas, Venezuela November 26, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

CARACAS – Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday installed an “anti-coup command” to thwart the opposition’s latest attempt to unseat him.

The move aims to safeguard the presidency while Maduro is out of the country attending the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega later on Tuesday.

The command is comprised of key government figures, including the ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Interior, as well as Vice President Tareck El Aissami.

On Monday, the opposition-controlled National Assembly, or the Congress, voted to impeach Maduro for “dereliction of duty,” despite not having the constitutional power to do so.

Maduro, accompanied by members of the command, said he was obligated “to defend the rights” of Venezuelans.

“I have delegated all tasks so this (command) serves as the executor of the preventive policies. The battle for peace is won through prevention and judicial policies to punish all violent attempts against Venezuela,” said Maduro.

He also called for the continuation of dialogue between the ruling socialist party and the conservative opposition, saying the attempted coup should not distract from talks aimed at resolving bitter differences between the two parties. The minority socialist bloc within the assembly called on the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to annul the impeachment measure, which passed with 106 votes in favor out of a total of 163.

Following the vote, Hector Rodriguez, head of the socialist party bloc in congress, told reporters the vote was a “futile measure that is not going to have any legal or political effect beyond being a failed attempted coup.”

Source: China Daily


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