Facing almost daily protest calling for new elections, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday offered what the opposition called a fraudulent alternative: a new constitution. Speaking to followers in the midst of a May Day march, Maduro said he would be calling a “constitutional assembly” that would replace the 1999 constitution forged by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez. Maduro said the deep reform was needed to bring “peace to the republic,” and that he would be providing details about the process late Monday. But even before the plan had solidified, the opposition was rejecting it as yet another distraction. María Corina Machado, the leader with the Vente Venezuela party, said the people wouldn’t stop protesting what she called Maduro’s “mafioso dictatorship.”
“We’re not going to change the constitution,” she said in a statement. “We’re going to change you.”
It’s not clear if the opposition will have a seat at the rewriting party. In his cursory comments about the new body, Maduro said it would be made up of “workers, farmers and indigenous” people but that it would primarily be “deeply chavista.”
Monday marked the one month mark since the opposition began taking to the streets to protest the socialist administration amid increasingly violent clashes. The last 30 days have left at least 29 dead, hundreds injured, thousands in detention.
Full Article: Venezuelans demand elections as Maduro offers new constitution | Miami Herald.