The Latest: Venezuela judge seeks to strip Guaido’s immunity
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuela’s Crisis (all times local):
Venezuela’s chief justice is asking pro-government lawmakers to strip opposition leader Juan Guaido of immunity from prosecution.
The request by Supreme Court Justice Maikel Moreno on Monday takes a further step toward prosecuting Guaido for alleged crimes.
Guaido is seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro with support from the United States among some 50 countries who declared Maduro’s presidency as illegitimate. Moreno is a political ally of the Maduro.
Moreno asked the pro-Maduro National Constituent Assembly to waive immunity Guaido holds as a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
Officials loyal to Maduro have already said that Guaido is under investigation for inciting violence against the government and receiving illicit funds.
Venezuelans struggled on Monday to understand an announcement by President Nicolas Maduro that the nation’s electricity is being rationed to combat daily blackouts.
Office worker Raquel Mayorca said she didn’t know if her lights were off because of another power failure — or whether it was part of the government’s plans.
“We are worse off now more than ever,” she said, adding that the power was out on one side of the street, but working on the other. “We do not know if the light went out due to a blackout, or whether they took it away because of the rationing.”
A day earlier, Maduro said that he was instituting a 30-day plan that would balance generation and transmission with consumption. He also called on Venezuelans to stay calm, but provided no further details.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Juan Guaido continued his calls for Maduro to step down and appeared to use the blackouts as political capital, saying years of neglect by the socialist government had left the grid in shambles.
“We must unite now more than ever,” said Guaido at a Caracas university on Monday. “We must mount the biggest demonstration so far to reject what’s happening.”
As the lack of electricity became the latest sticking point in an ongoing political standoff, however, many Venezuelans simply found themselves wondering what the newly announced rationing plan would entail.