Venezuelan opposition won’t attend constitutional assembly

“Democratic unity and the majority of Venezuelans, more than 80 percent who want change, are not going to go to the Miraflores (Palace),” Gov. Henrique Capriles, a leading opposition member and two-time presidential candidate, said in a press conference.

Capriles urged citizens to not participate in the constitutional assembly.

The government has invited MUD representatives to attend a meeting Monday to discuss the constitutional revision process, which the opposition has labeled “a fraud.”

“We have a constitution here, if the government thinks it can revoke it by force, it’s mistaken ... that’s not a constituent assembly, it would be bad for us to attend an absolutely fraudulent process,” Capriles said.

On May 1, Maduro called on workers to convene a national constitutional assembly, saying the body was the only way to achieve peace and defeat the “coup” being staged by the opposition.

Maduro made the announcement at a huge May Day event in Caracas, explaining that the new assembly would be comprised of elected representatives to “strengthen the pioneering, wise and Bolivarian constitution of 1999,” which was implemented by late President Hugo Chavez when he came to power.