Venezuelan lawmaker stripped of protection in power struggle

October 23, 2019 GMT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Lawmakers loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro have stripped the legal protections of an opposition politician, exposing him to potential criminal prosecution amid a struggle for control of the crisis-torn nation.

Juan Pablo Guanipa was accused Tuesday of taking part in a failed military uprising April 30 led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó aimed at toppling Maduro. It brings to 19 the number of lawmakers in the opposition-led National Assembly stripped of immunity.

Esteban Arévalo of the pro-Maduro National Constituent Assembly says they took the vote against Guanipa at the request of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice. The high court has made no public announcements about Guanipa.

Guanipa says on Twitter that the vote is the act of a “dictatorship.” He says he will continue fighting for Venezuelans.