Venezuelan Judges, Opposition Leader Flee to Chilean Embassy

Phillip Butler
August 6, 2017

The first meeting of the 545 delegates elected to rewrite Venezuela's constitution is scheduled for Friday at the legislative palace in Caracas, setting the stage for a possible showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and the political opposition, which says the election of the constituent assembly was not fair. "The violent fascists, those who wage economic war on the people, those who wage psychological war, justice is coming for you". "We shall start to act as of tomorrow".

Rodriguez said there could be strong pressure on the owners of Smartmatic by worldwide powers, which have political and business interests in Venezuela.

On Sunday, Maduro said one of the priorities of the Constituent Assembly would be the "restructuring" of the office of the attorney general.

One of the Venezuelan opposition leaders arrested earlier this week has been freed, it has emerged.

"I feel deeply the wounds of each one of you", Maduro said addressing a small group of injured national guardsmen scarred with burns, on crutches and wearing neck braces.

In the statement released by the Vatican's press office on Friday soon after noon Rome time, the Holy See also expressed its "profound concern" over the radicalization of the country's crisis.

Despite months of violent protests and worldwide condemnation, Maduro insists it is the solution to a drawn-out economic and political crisis gripping Venezuela.

The results have come under mounting scrutiny after the global company that provided the electronic voting machines said that "without any doubt" the official turnout had been tampered with - a charge dismissed by Maduro and the National Electoral Council.

The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that the United States will not recognize Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC) tasked to amend the Constitution.

It was also widely dismissed as illegitimate by the global community, who saw it as a way for Maduro to bypass the legitimate Parliament - the National Assembly - which is now controlled by the right-wing opposition.

In a continuing show of defiance, Ortega Diaz filed papers Thursday seeking a court order to block installation of the new assembly.

The National Electoral Council said more than 8 million Venezuelans voted in the election, though independent analysts and opposition leaders contend the turnout was nearly certainly less than half that figure.

Voting technology firm Smartmatic, which provides the South American OPEC member country's voting machines, said on Wednesday the official turnout figure of 8.1 million votes in Sunday's election had been inflated by at least 1 million votes.

Opposition lawmakers have pledged to remain in power no matter what action is taken by the constitutional assembly, raising the possibility of two governing bodies operating side by side, with neither recognizing the other.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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