"I have been officially notified by the president of the National Constituent Assembly (Delcy Rodríguez), and in a timely date set by its board of directors, I will go as head of state to render a report and tell the country about the political and governmental year 2017,” the president said on Friday during the first parliamentary session of the new year.
The president said he felt the assembly is the most competent and capable body to issue an account of 2017. According to the constitution, the president must deliver an account of the previous year to Parliament.
"I recognize the Constituent as the highest authority to render an account in this year 2018," he confirmed.
The request came following a widely supported proposal by assembly member Cilia Flores, who suggest that given the challenges the country had faced over the last year, it would be best for the president to address the nation and project a path forward while reflecting on the previous year.
“As they are in contempt and President Nicolás Maduro wants to fulfil his obligation of 237, I propose before this National Constituent Assembly that President Nicolás Maduro be summoned to (...) render his memory and account to the nation, within the next ten days,” Flores said.
“Come talk to our people and address the battles of the next victories that we will have as a free, sovereign and independent people,” Flores said at the Federal Legislative Palace.
The motion received unanimous approval from several members including Diosdado Cabello, the former speaker of the National Assembly of Venezuela, and current member of the Constituent Assembly.
The president's address comes at a particularly difficult time for the nation as Venezuela continues to struggle with crippling U.S. economic sanctions.