Senator Marco Rubio said that any attempt to arrest the Juan Guaido would amount to a “coup d’etat” which would face “consequences.”
'Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) has lifted the parliamentary immunity of the self-declared “Interim President” Juan Guaido, opening the door for criminal charges to be brought against him.
Tuesday’s unanimous decision came following a request from the Supreme Court, and included the “authorisation” of the continuation of investigations into the also deputy and president of the National Assembly.
“The investigation [against Guaido] is formally authorised to continue in accordance with our Constitution and laws” said ANC President Diosdado Cabello during the session. Cabello added that justice was “necessary” and what would safeguard peace in Venezuela.
The ANC based their move on article 200 of Venezuela’s constitution which gives the Supreme Court the unique power to rule over parlamentarians’ immunity from prosecution.
Guaido, who was chosen as National Assembly president in January 2019, violated a court-ordered travel ban on February 22 when he crossed into Colombia to lead efforts to force humanitarian “aid” across the border. He later attended a Lima Group meeting in Bogota and travelled to Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Argentina before returning to Venezuela March 4.
The travel ban against Guaido, as well as an asset freeze, were also reinforced by the ANC Tuesday, both extended “until the investigation [against him] is over.”
Two criminal investigations being led by the Attorney General’s office are currently open, one relating to his unconstitutional behaviour as a public official, and the other regarding his alleged role in what the Venezuelan government describes as sabotage against the electric grid which has led to rolling blackouts across Venezuela in recent weeks.
The opposition leader has also been barred from holding public office for 15 years by Venezuela’s Ombudsman Elvis Amoroso last month. Amoroso pointed towards alleged spending irregularities during Guaido’s time as a deputy.
Following the announcement, Guaido told his followers that the measure was “very serious” and asked them to show their strength “on the streets.”'
Read more: Marco Rubio: Arrest of Juan Guaido Would Amount to Coup D’etat