The unraveling of the last democratic institution in Venezuela came with the recent fraudulent election of a new constituent assembly whose members include the wife and son of President Nicolas Maduro and cronies of his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.
This illegal assembly will draft a constitution, establishing a dictatorship. Defying the calls from other governments and international groups to annul the election results, the Maduro government made clear its intentions to effectively end any semblance of a democratic state.
To stop the deadly violence that has marred the country since March, negotiations with Maduro should first address what Pope Francis and his Vatican diplomats requested: the creation of a humanitarian corridor to allow relief to flow into the country. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres does not need the votes of the Security Council to request the UN humanitarian agencies to assess the needs of a starving people or get children medical care.
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