Venezuela's president delays launch of new assembly

Posted August 07, 2017

A group of men wearing Venezuelan military uniforms announced the beginning of a "civil-military action" on Sunday as an ally of President Nicolas Maduro said that a military base was under attack from "terrorists".

A witness near the military base, in the town of Naguanagua, reported hearing gunshots before dawn, but Cabello maintained that the situation had been brought under control.

A separate video showed a group of soldiers led by a captain identified as Juan Carlos Caguaripano, declaring themselves in rebellion. Solo le pido a Dios que lo proteja a él y a quienes lo siguen.

"The United States condemn the illegal dismissals of public prosecutor of Venezuela @LOrtegaDiaz" (the identity of Ms. Ortega on the social network, ed), reacted on Twitter to the spokesman for the State department, Heather Nauert, denouncing "the dictatorship authoritarian rule of Maduro".

He said troops had been deployed in its wake "to ensure domestic security" and there was "absolute normality in the other military units in the country".

Another high-profile dissident, Antonio Ledezma, 62, was released back to house arrest Friday after being hauled away the same day as Lopez.

The armed forces are seen as the key power broker in Venezuela, and opposition leaders have repeatedly called on the military to break ranks with Maduro.

In a letter to assembly President Delcy Rodriguez after the 545-0 vote, Venezuela's Supreme Court said it also has disqualified Ortega from holding any public office for an indefinite period and prohibited her from leaving the country, opening the way to her prosecution on charges of unspecified "crimes". During the vote, some members shouted "traitor" and "justice" in reference to Ortega.

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Ortega, a Maduro critic, was replaced by one of his supporters. "If they're doing this to the chief prosecutor, imagine the helpless state all Venezuelans live in".

She said the application was based on alleged irregularities in last Sunday's controversial election.

Global pressure against Venezuela's election has been increasing as the United States, Mexico and Colombia said they're freezing assets and imposing other restrictions on certain current and former Venezuelan government officials.

Despite its pledge of "absolute" support to Maduro, the military is under strong pressure, blamed by the opposition for violently quelling protests and urged by it to switch sides.

Maduro also wants the assembly to strip opposition lawmakers of their constitutional immunity from prosecution, saying their constant conspiring to oust him shouldn't be protected.

The Constituent Assembly was Maduro's answer to growing popular dissatisfaction with his government.

The powerful military in riot-torn Venezuela has sworn "unconditional loyalty" to the leftist government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro.