Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Petition To Remove Maduro Gets Wide Support

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It took less than a week for more than 1.8 million people in Venezuela to sign a petition asking for a referendum to remove current President Nicolas Maduro from office. This is nine times the required 200,000 signatures required to do so. The opposition delivered the signed petitions in sealed boxes Monday morning without notifying the press in order to avoid clashes with Maduro supporters.

Dethroning Maduro from power won’t be easy even with his terrible approval rating, triple-digit inflation, widespread food shortages and near-daily blackouts. As of late polls suggest that two-thirds of Venezuelans want him out. The National Electoral Council will have to verify the signatures in the coming days, which would lead to a second petition drive that would need 20 percent of the electorate to sign on before a referendum could be schedule to remove Maduro.

The process becomes even more complicated as a result of election laws in the country. If a vote is held then the president would only be removed only if the number of anti-Maduro votes exceeded the 7.6 million votes he received in the 2013 election. This is difficult because last December as opposition forces won the parliamentary elections in a landslide they were only able to gain 7.7 million votes.

All of this is happening as oil prices continue to fall and this OPEC member nation is starving for dollars with which to import food and other basic supplies. On Monday, authorities backed by armed members of the National Guard inspected several facilities belonging to Empresas Polar, the country’s largest private company that last week shut down the last of its four beer factories for what it said was a lack of imported supplies.

The deteriorating economic situation is increasingly drawing international attention. The Vatican on Monday confirmed that Pope Francis last month sent a letter to Maduro expressing concern. Although the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, would not disclose the contents of the letter, the pope has in the past offered to serve as a mediator between Venezuela’s political factions.

Fox News Latino