Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol on Tuesday called on the country’s judicial branch to investigate ongoing acts of violence committed by the right-wing opposition in Caracas.
Since Tuesday, anti-government demonstrators have been attacking National Guard and police officers with sticks, rocks and trash cans in the socialist country’s capital. The riots were organized in protest against a recent decision by the Supreme Court to temporarily assume some responsibilities of the National Assembly as long as the legislature continued to be “in contempt” of the constitution.
Even though Venezuela’s top court has since reversed the decision, the right-wing opposition continues to incite violence, echoing mainstream media claims of a “self-coup.”
“A group of opposition leaders led these actions that border on the most repudiable and condemnable anti-democratic conduct,” Reverol said in a VTV broadcast, adding that they should be investigated for “behaviors violating Venezuela’s constitutional order.”
Right-wing opposition leaders are also employing political and legal tactics to attack the socialist government in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
National Electoral Council leader Luis Emilio Rondon, for example, is calling for new municipal and national elections in Venezuela to “settle political tension.”
“Preventing or delaying voting, an expression of sovereignty and freedom, weakens democratic coexistence and opens doors to violence,” Rondon posted on Twitter Tuesday.
Members of the opposition-controlled National Assembly are also trying to initiate a legislative process that would lead to the dismissal of Supreme Court judges. They claim the judicial branch is controlled by the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
But as the Supreme Court said in a statement, these efforts undermine Venezuela’s democratic system, given that municipal, national and judicial leaders were all elected in free and fair elections.
“We reject the actions of a sector of the National Assembly that seek to erode political, democratic stability and constitutional order,” the top court’s Constitutional Chamber said in a statement, AFP reports.
“These claims lack the legality and legitimacy to remove the magistrates.”
On Wednesday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez blasted the Organization of American States for supporting right-wing violence and perpetuating the “self-coup” myth. Rodriguez said the OAS has an agenda intended to “interfere in the internal affairs of states."