Saturday , December 3 2016

No pay, no expenses, no laws for Venezuela’s opposition lawmakers

On a minor scale, congressmen say they are also being obstructed from doing their job because of lack of state assets.

lawmakers

Caracas: They say they have not been waged for 2 months, have had their electricity cut and are sometimes barred from flights – and the laws they pass are impassable anyway.

Venezuela’s opposition lawmakers blame the socialist government of damaging their work after winning a mainstream in congress last December.

The pro-government Supreme Court has choked all congress’ bills from becoming law. Former this week, the high court also permitted President Nicolas Maduro to present the 2017 budget without congressional approval.

On a minor scale, congressmen say they are also being obstructed from doing their job because of lack of state assets.

“There’s no money for anything,” stated lawmaker Angel Alvarado, adding he take on board printer ink with his own money.

“OPEC-member Venezuela is in distress through a severe economic crisis with the unavailability of basic goods and food and rising crime.

Half a dozen opposition lawmakers say they have not been waged for 2 months, and those living outside the capital Caracas say they have never received travel expenses.

Gabriela Arellano, lawmaker for Tachira state near the Colombian border, stated she the had been two times prevented from boarding state airlines for a flight to Caracas because her name was on a blacklist. For the last 3 months, she has had to make the 14-hour trip by road.

Others stated they had been stopped when trying to travel to Margarita Island in September for a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Previous week, a session of congress was postponed because it did not reach a minimum of 83 out of 167 lawmakers. The opposition stated the reason was the logistical problems.

Maduro stated attendance problems did not exist when he was a congressman in the then Socialist Party-controlled Congress, point the finger at “lazy” opposition lawmakers for the interlude of 25 sessions this year.

In a discourse on Friday, Maduro seemed to acknowledge lawmakers were not being waged because Congress was defying the law, saying he was only approving money for National Assembly workers.

The Information Ministry and Venezuela’s airline’s association did not respond to requests for comment.

Lawmakers should receive a forty bolivar monthly salary, just over a dollar a day at the black market exchange rate or $60 a month at the pathetic official rate.

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