VENEZUELA rejected the latest US attacks on its new legislative body on Saturday as Washington declared unwavering support for the opposition-held parliament.
The Foreign Ministry hit back at a US State Department statement attacking the newly elected National Constituent Assembly after it gave itself the powers to pass laws on Friday.
Washington said: “This power grab is designed to supplant the democratically elected National Assembly with an authoritarian committee operating above the law.
“We are prepared to bring the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to bear in support of the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore their democracy.”
The Foreign Ministry rejected the “new act of intervention by the US,” calling the assembly the “legitimate representative of the original constituent power, stemming from the popular will of the Venezuelan people, in free and universal elections.”
The opposition, which holds a majority in the country’s National Assembly, boycotted last month’s vote to the 545-member constituent assembly tasked with rewriting Venezuela’s constitution.
The ministry went on to accuse the US of seeking “excuses” to “continue advancing its expansionist plan of military aggression and intervention against our homeland” — after four months of putschist violence incited by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) opposition.
“Law and not abusive force, or the threat of the use of force, must be the source of relations between our nations.”
On August 11 US President Donald Trump explicitly threatened military action against Venezuela for the first time after two decades of US regime-change efforts — prompting condemnation from across Latin America.
The National Assembly held an emergency session on Saturday to condemn the constituent assembly’s challenge to its powers.
Deputy speaker Freddy Guevara, leader of the extremist Popular Will party, declared: “They will have to take us out with bullets” as he tore up a copy of Friday’s declaration.
US embassy deputy chief of mission Brian Naranjo and ambassadors of Britain, the EU, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Argentina, Chile and Mexico also attended in support of the Mud.
Suspended attorney general Luisa Ortega, whose turncoat socialist party MP husband was accused last week of running an extortion ring, fl ed to neighbouring Colombia on Friday.
The constituent assembly had already appointed former public protecter William Tarek Saab, who announced the extortion probe, in her place.