CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's 2017 power grab through a new constitutional assembly stacked with loyalists further divided the oil-rich country. Venezuelans can all agree that there is a legitimate and an illegitimate Supreme Court. They just can't agree on which one is which.
In a Monday letter addressed from Miami-Dade County's city of Coral Gables, Miguel Angel Martin Tortabu, an exiled Venezuelan Supreme Court justice, asked Interpol to issue a warrant for the arrest of Maduro.
Martin Tortabu, who was born in the Venezuelan state of Carabobo and has dual citizenship in Spain, signed the letter sent to Jurgen Stock, the secretary-general of Interpol. He left his country after Maduro's controversial constitutional assembly placed 13 new justices who were loyalists of the socialist party.
Martin Tortabu and the other exiled justices have continued presiding over what they say is the legitimate Supreme Court. The letter reports the exiled attorney general, Luisa Marvelia Ortega Díaz, filed charges against Maduro, and the exiled justices convicted him and sentenced him to 18 years and 3 months in prison.
Fearing for her life, Ortega Diaz left to Colombia in 2017 after the pro-Maduro assembly dismissed her and appointed Tarek William Saab, the son of Syrian immigrants and former confidant of the late Hugo Chavez.
Through the letter the exiled Supreme Court justices requested that in the event Interpol arrested Maduro, his rights be guaranteed while he is extradited.