Backgrounder: 8 intertwining powers to shape Venezuela's future

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-28 18:28:23|Editor: Zhou Xin
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CARACAS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- With the Sunday vote on the creation of a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) in Venezuela approaching, the country remains unstable with spiralling political violence. Meanwhile, eight powers intertwine and struggle to shape Venezuela's political future.

The Venezuelan government is the executive branch of Venezuela. The country's left-wing leader Hugo Chavez served as the President of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. His handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, took office after Chavez passed away in 2013.

The upcoming ANC is key to the government in deciding whether the new constitution could limit the power of the National Assembly.

The severest challenge awaits the government is whether it could win in the regional elections scheduled at the end of 2017 as well as the 2018 presidential election.

The National Assembly is the unicameral legislative branch of Venezuela. The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won a majority in the National Assembly in December 2015 and ended 17-years of control by Chavez and Maduro. Since then, it has been wrestling with the government.

The power of the National Assembly will be severely weakened after Maduro proposed to review and amend the constitution.

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) is Venezuela's head of the judicial branch.

Before the opposition took control of the National Assembly, 33 judges named by the Maduro-led government were appointed. Sine then, the STJ has become an important ally of the government to counter the power of the opposition-led National Assembly.

On March 29, the STJ decided to take over the legislative power of the National Assembly, and reversed the decision on April 1 after being condemned by various parties.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) is the country's electoral branch overseeing elections and referendums at the municipal, regional and national levels.

The CNE is a key supporting power of the government. In October 2016, the CNE suspended the opposition's campaign to hold a recall referendum against Maduro.

Tibisay Lucena, the President of the CNE, announced that the CNE would take new measures to ensure the security of the elections of the ANC.

The National Bolivarian Armed Forces is a vital party to the stable political situation in the country.

The opposition MUD made appeals to the military leaders to defy Maduro's orders in recent strikes, but the appeals did not work.

The Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez recently affirmed that the military has unconditional loyalty to Maduro.

The United States backs Venezuela's right-wing opposition. The U.S. government has demanded Maduro to call off the June 30 vote, and on Wednesday announced sanctions on 13 current and former Venezuelan government officials to pressure Maduro. Canada and the European Union have joined the United States to call on the Venezuelan government to drop the vote.

Latin American countries supporting the Venezuelan government are left-wing countries such as Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Salvador. The left-wing power in Latin America has faced setbacks in recent years, but still maintains influence.

Latin American countries opposing the ANC include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Peru and some others. They advocate that the intense situation should be solved through dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.