Germany rejects Venezuela′s attempt to prosecute Guaido | News | DW | 03.04.2019
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Germany rejects Venezuela's attempt to prosecute Guaido

Berlin has accused the Maduro regime of attempting to "undermine the country's democratic forces." Venezuela's self-declared president told supporters that if the regime tried to kidnap him they would act forcefully.

Watch video 01:55

Guaido dares Venezuela to arrest him

The German government on Wednesday condemned a Venezuelan body's decision to strip self-declared President Juan Guaido of immunity from prosecution.

The Constituent Assembly, a body bound to acting President Nicolas Maduro, earlier this week stripped opposition leader Guaido of legal immunity, opening him up to prosecution in loyalist courts.

Read more: Germany declines to recognize Juan Guaido's Berlin emissary

What the German government said:

  • "The federal government condemns the withdrawal of Juan Guaido's immunity by the so-called Constituent Assembly."
  • "EU states had already declared in 2017 … that they would not recognize resolutions made by the Constituent Assembly."
  • "This assembly was set up to oust the democratically-legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela."
  • "The (Constituent Assembly) is once again demonstrating it is serving the Maduro regime to undermine the country's democratic forces."

Read more: How millions of 'dirty dollars' were laundered out of Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido (center) gestures while making a speech in the National Assembly

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido (center) has warned of regime attempts to kidnap him

'They don't care'

The president of the Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, accused opposition leader Guaido of inciting a civil war, saying: "They don't care about deaths. They don't have the slightest idea of what the consequences of war are for a country."

Cabello was making reference to a regime claim that aims to discredit the opposition by accusing them of working for the US government, which Maduro claims is orchestrating a conspiracy to oust him.

Guaido rejected moves to remove his immunity to prosecution, saying: "If the regime dares to kidnap me and stage a coup, we will act forcefully. The dictator is only left with brute force."

Read more: '2019 will go down as a year of liberation for Venezuela'

Power struggle

In January, then-opposition lawmaker Guaido declared himself president of Venezuela in a stunning move that undermined Maduro's authority in the country.

The US immediately recognized him as the legitimate president of the oil-rich, cash-strapped country. Shortly after, Germany and other Western countries recognized him. But Maduro's regime continues to enjoy support from Russia, China and Turkey.

Read more: 'Time running out for Nicolas Maduro,' Venezuela's Juan Guaido tells DW

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Watch video 01:53

Juan Guaido: 'Time is running out for Maduro'

ls/jm (EFE, dpa)

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