Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Venezuela Supreme Court Judge Christian Zerpa Flees To U.S

Venezuela Supreme Court Judge Christian Zerpa Flees To U.S

"I've made a decision to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro", Christian Tyrone Zerpa told EVTV.

Maduro is expected to start another term as president on January 10 that would keep him in power until 2025, despite the fact that the election he won in May previous year was widely dismissed as illegitimate.

Maduro was re-elected on May 20 2018 in a ballot boycotted by the main opposition parties and widely condemned by the worldwide community, including the United States.

The journalist Carla Angola reported that it had Zerpa interviewed; of these had fled to Florida and was willing to work with US investigators in the investigation of corruption and human rights violations in Venezuela to cooperate.

In the interview on Sunday, Zerpa described the Supreme Court as an "appendage of the executive branch" and said the justices were at times summoned to the presidential palace to receive instructions on how to rule on certain sensitive cases. Venezuela faces severe food shortages and hyper-inflation.

Venezuela's opposition-controlled but toothless National Assembly declared Nicolas Maduro's presidency illegitimate on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), calling on the military to support efforts to "restore democracy". A broad opposition Alliance had won in 2015, the parliamentary elections in Venezuela.

Zerpa apologized for propping up Maduro's government as long as he did, saying that he feared being jailed as a dissident where his life would be put at risk.

Pressure has been mounting against Maduro internationally and from his political opponents still inside Venezuela. "I am a dead man".

Reacting to media reports that US State Secretary Mike Pompeo took part in the meeting via teleconference, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza slammed the 14-member group for taking orders from US President Donald Trump.

Maduro says he intends to take the oath despite his critics and press ahead with the socialist revolution, promising a turnaround of the failing economy.

The head of state of the crisis-ridden oil-producing country was confirmed in office in controversial elections in May 2018.

Dogged by hyperinflation that has seen Venezuela's currency drop in value by 99.9%, a government refusing to provide citizens with the passports they need to leave, and an ongoing desperation that has seen an exodus of some 2.3 million people in the past five years, the South American continent is facing a humanitarian crisis in which no country can be devoid of participation.

"I've chose to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro", Zerpa said in an interview with EVTV, which is broadcast over cable and the internet. "It's not fair that a whole country should perish to satisfy one man's lust for power".

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