Venezuela disqualifies Juan Guaido from public office for 15 years

Friday, 2019-03-29 13:58:59
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The US backed Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido. (Photo: Reuters)
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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido will be barred from holding public office for 15 years following an investigation which showed irregularities in his financial records, Venezuela's Comptroller General Elvis Amoroso said on March 28.

"Disqualify from holding any public office the citizen Juan Gerardo Antonio Guaido Marquez," Amoroso said, following the investigation into his declaration of assets.

The decision will be "for the maximum period established in the decree with the scope, courage and strength of the law against corruption," Amoroso said.

The law "implements the disqualification sanctions of the execution of public sanctions for a maximum of 15 years" to public servants enveloped in irregularities, according to Amoroso.

The investigation began in February, when Venezuelan authorities started an asset audit on the accounts of the opposition leader.

The inquiries began "because it was believed he hid information from his personal assets declaration while also receiving money from national and international entities that were not justified," Amoroso said.

He added that they would continue the "procedure to verify assets and the administrative fine sanctioning process" established in the anti-corruption law.

At the same time, the documents will be sent to the public prosecutor to begin corresponding actions, Amoroso said.

According to Venezuela's constitution, members of the National Assembly are required to fulfill their duties exclusively.

Guaido "has systematically violated our Magna Carta," Venezuelan laws and the rules of procedure and debate in Parliament, Amoroso said.

According to Amoroso, Guaido "has usurped public functions and committed actions with foreign governments that have harmed the Venezuelan people, public assets, creating harm to social peace, democratic stability and the constitutional order."

Amoroso said that since 2015 Guaido has made 91 foreign trips without authorization from the National Assembly at a cost of more than "VEF310 million (about US$94,000)."

The opposition leader has been out of Venezuela for a total of 248 days since winning a seat as federal lawmaker, according to the comptroller.

Self-proclaimed "interim president" Juan Guaido called Amoroso's claims "a farce."

In his opinion, the national comptroller "doesn't exist," and as such "no disqualification exists; the Venezuelan Congress is the only one who can designate a comptroller."

Guaido pointed out that the comptroller was appointed by the National Constituent Assembly and not by the National Assembly in contempt, which is the governing body.