Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Sunday claimed that President Nicolas Maduro intended to soon dissolve the South American country's parliament.
"Tomorrow they intend to dissolve parliament, illegally convene parliamentary elections or even massively prosecute deputies," the current speaker of the national assembly and the nation's self-proclaimed "interim" president said in a statement posted on social media.
The opposition to Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) holds a majority in the national assembly.
Guaido said that the so-called Constituent National Assembly (ANC) – a parallel legislative filled with Maduro loyalists that is not recognized by many countries – was planning a meeting for Monday "in an almost illegal way" that would approve the national assembly's dissolution, which he said was a sign of the "the dictatorship's newest madness."
Guaido said that he had talked with other Latin American governments and with his "international allies" – including the mentioned the United States – about the regime's alleged plans and announced that he was set to launch "a political offensive.”
He also said that any attempt of persecution against the opposition's leaders would not succeed in stopping the plan he first announced in January when he proclaimed himself interim president, which includes forcing Maduro's exit from power, establishing a transitional government and holding free elections.
The parliamentary leader, who has been recognized as interim president by over 50 governments despite lacking control over Venezuela's bureaucracy and armed forces, rejected what he described as "the fiction" of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Maduro's government blames the US sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump on Venezuelan assets for causing the severe economic crisis that the Caribbean country has been experiencing for years.
Instead, Guaido said that it was "a sanction against Maduro for his corruption."
Maduro – whose legitimacy as president is not recognized by dozens of countries, including the US – warned this week that "traitors" who have supported the sanctions would be severely punished.
The warning was seconded by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), which is close to the Chavista government, who said it would severely punish people who express any support for the US sanctions.
Maduro had said on Saturday that the justice system would get a hold of Guaido, whom he described as a "despicable worm" and a "traitor to the country." EFE-EPA