CARACAS – The opposition mayor of a district in Venezuela’s capital Caracas Wednesday called on local residents to protest after the Supreme Court sacked him and jailed him for 15 months for defying an order to prevent protests and street closures.
“I’m mayor number 12 that has been dismissed and had an arrest warrant issued for them,” David Smolansky, the now-deposed mayor of El Hatillo district, said in a video clip posted on social media shortly after the court announced its decision.
“At this rate, there will be no municipality in Venezuela left with a mayor from the Democratic Unity Roundtable (opposition alliance).”
Smolansky called on local residents in his district, considered one of the country’s opposition strongholds, to protest against the decision.
Smolansky’s whereabouts are unknown and he is currently banned from leaving the country.
The authorities instructed the intelligence service to issue a warrant under an Interpol red notice, a step that usually seeks the location and arrest of a wanted person for extradition.
In June, the Supreme Court ordered 13 mayors, including Miranda state governor and opposition leader Henrique Capriles, to take all necessary actions to prevent demonstrators from blocking the roads and warned that they would be arrested if they defied the order.