Tuesday, December 12, 2017
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Venezuela sacks fifth opposition mayor in two weeks

The Supreme Court handed down a 15-month jail sentence to David Smolansky as US slaps Caracas with fresh sanctions.

The Supreme Court of Venezuela has ordered the removal and imprisonment of a Caracas-area mayor for not obeying orders to shut down protests in his district.

David Smolansky is the fifth opposition mayor to be removed or jailed in little more than two weeks as President Nicolas Maduro attempts to consolidate his power by going after his enemies.

Smolansky was sentenced to 15 months in prison in a ruling Wednesday night.

Later on Wednesday, speaking from an undisclosed location, Smolansky rallied his people to protest to defend their district.

The former student activist had been one of the most prominent leaders of four months of anti-government protests that have left at least 124 people dead and hundreds more injured or jailed.

Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the wealthy Chacao district of capital city Caracas, was also sacked on Tuesday and sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Supreme Court.

He appeared in a video shot from a secret location rallying supporters.

New US sanctions

Meanwhile, a new wave of US sanctions targeted politicians and security figures but stopped short of actions against Venezuela's vital oil industry.

US officials said that energy-sector sanctions, which could cripple Venezuela's already ailing economy, are still being considered, according to Reuters news agency.

The sanctions followed Friday's installation of a legislative superbody known as the constituent assembly, made up entirely of allies of the ruling Socialist Party and armed with the power to re-write the constitution.


RELATED: Venezuela uses 'excessive force to crush dissent'


The sanctions, unveiled on Wednesday, will freeze US assets of the officials targeted, ban them from travel to the United States and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

Washington clamped sanctions on Maduro himself last week following measures against 13 Venezuelan figures last month.

Maduro's popularity has been pounded by triple-digit inflation and acute food and medicine shortages which he blames on right-wing conspirators in league with the US "empire".

The opposition, which gained control of Venezuela's congress in 2015 only to see its decisions nullified by the Supreme Court, boycotted the July 30 election of the legislative superbody known as the constituent assembly.

Maduro says the 545-member assembly will bring peace and prosperity to Venezuela. Laws passed by the new body will not need approval from Venezuela's traditional congress, which met on Wednesday to discuss the region's response to the new body.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Nikki Haley: UN hurts Israel-Palest...

Read More

Are California wildfires here to st...

Read More

California wildfires bear down on L...

Read More

Judge orders arrest of ex-Argentine...

Read More

US sends security warnings amid Tru...

Read More

Honduras police refuse crackdown on...

Read More

Global_News

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini rejects Benjamin Netanyahu's call to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Read More

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Week in Pictures

From snowfall to sunshine

Palestinians hold 'day of rage'