Venezuela’s socialist government says a national election has given it a popular mandate to dramatically recast the country’s political system even as condemnations of the process have poured in from nations abroad and opponents at home.
President Nicolas Maduro has pressed ahead with the vote despite the threat of further U.S. sanctions and months of opposition protests in which around 120 people have been killed
Violence marred Venezuela’s controversial election on Sunday, marked by the deaths of at least seven people, as Venezuelans trickled to the polls to vote to elect a new assembly that would rewrite the country’s constitution and give the government virtually unlimited powers.
Many Venezuelan streets were barricaded and deserted on Thursday for a strike called by foes of President Nicolas Maduro to demand a presidential election and the abandonment of a plan for a new congress they fear would institute dictatorship.
Venezuela’s dissident state prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, said she expected to be fired later on Tuesday after alleging human rights violations and decrying an erosion of democracy under President Nicolas Maduro.
The Venezuelan government hunted on Wednesday for a rogue policemen who attacked key installations by helicopter, but critics of President Nicolas Maduro suspected the raid may have been manipulated to justify repression.
Years into a political and economic crisis, nationalizations, price and currency controls mean there are chronic shortages, and the once-leading AIDS program is in ruins
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor said on Monday her family had been threatened and followed by intelligence agents since she split with the government, and violence broke out in protests at the Supreme Court over a bid to change the constitution.
A 17-year-old Venezuelan protester died in ferocious clashes between security forces and protesters in Caracas on Wednesday, taking the death toll from unrest since April to at least 66.
Venezuelan security forces used water cannons and teargas to disperse tens of thousands of opposition protesters heading toward the foreign ministry on Wednesday as the Organization of American States held another meeting on the crisis.
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