Speed Reads

crisis in venezuela

Venezuela's president has called a vote to replace the country's legislature

Venezuelans vote Sunday on a proposal from the widely unpopular President Nicolas Maduro to create a new legislative body called the Constituent Assembly and dissolve the National Assembly, which is dominated by Maduro's opposition.

Because opposition leaders have called for a boycott of what they consider an illegitimate vote, Maduro's plan to consolidate his power is expected to pass. The ballot comes after months of unrest over massive shortages of basic foods and goods thanks to the Maduro government's socialist policies.

President Trump recently issued targeted sanctions against pro-Maduro Venezuelan politicians and has threatened "strong and swift economic action" against Maduro if the Constituent Assembly is created. Mexico, Colombia, and Panama sanctioned the same leaders, and the Organization of American States denounced Sunday's vote.