Maduro called the vote for a constitutional assembly in May after a month of protests against his government, which has overseen Venezuela’s descent into a devastating crisis during its four years in power. Due to plunging oil prices and widespread corruption and mismanagement, Venezuela’s inflation and homicide rates are among the world’s highest, and widespread shortages of food and medicine have citizens dying of preventable illnesses and rooting through trash to feed themselves.
The winners among the 5500 ruling-party candidates running for 545 seats in the constituent assembly will have the task of rewriting the country’s constitution and will have powers above and beyond other state institutions, including the opposition-controlled congress.
Maduro made clear in a televised address on Saturday (Sunday NZT) that he intends to use the assembly not just to rewrite the country’s charter but to govern without limitation. Describing the vote as “the election of a power that’s above and beyond every other,” Maduro said he wants the assembly to strip opposition lawmakers and governors of constitutional immunity from prosecution – one of the few remaining checks on ruling party power.
Declaring the opposition “already has its prison cell waiting,” Maduro added: “All the criminals will go to prison for the crimes they’ve committed.”
Maduro and the socialists just want to retain power at any cost. Never mind the millions starving in their country due to their policies.
This outcome is not exceptional. It is almost inevitable when you get governments that pursue full socialism or communism.