Venezuelan Parliament Moves to Impeach Opposition Lawmaker
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Venezuelan National Assembly agreed to investigate the involvement of opposition lawmaker Maria Machado in the recent protests that have left 29 dead and more than 400 injured.
The pro-government lawmakers demanded the impeachment of Machado, who supported the protests and launched with Leopoldo Lopez, a jailed opposition leader, an anti-government campaign known as "The exit."
Tania Diaz, a legislator of the ruling Socialist Party, presented an audio recording which allegedly linked Machado with the White House in conspiring to topple President Nicolas Maduro undemocratically and using force.
"This is not a political confrontation or a personal matter. We have to guarantee our constitution. Anyone who violates the right to live is violating the constitution," Diaz said, accusing Machado of treason and conspiracy against the nation among other charges.
Parliament speaker Diosdado Cabello told the media the evidence had been handed to the state prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Diaz, who would decide whether to open an impeachment trial, Xinhua reported.
In response, Machado claimed on her Twitter account that "if the government believes that threatening me and taking away my parliamentary immunity will shut me up, they do not know me."
Opposition lawmakers said she had "called for and participated in the peaceful protest in Venezuela and would continue to do so."
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles also supported Machado, calling the act a "political persecution" against representatives from opposition parties.