By Heather Nauert
U.S. Department of State
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States considers the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly the illegitimate product of a flawed process designed by the Maduro dictatorship to further its assault on democracy.
The process was rigged from the start, from the irregular manner in which the election was decreed to the government’s refusal to permit voters to object to plans to rewrite the constitution. The balloting itself was further designed to fill the National Constituent Assembly with Maduro loyalists. In a country suffering from malnutrition, the regime threatened that those who did not vote would lose access to food, pension, or employment benefits. Finally, the election lacked credible international observation.
The United States will not recognize the National Constituent Assembly. As Secretary Tillerson said this week, “We are evaluating all our policy options (as) to what we can do to create a change of conditions, where either Maduro decides he does not have a future and wants to leave on his own accord, or we can return the government processes back to the constitution.”