Venezuela leader's foes levy new sanctions and fresh strike

by Noah Mcgee July 30, 2017, 0:08
Venezuela leader's foes levy new sanctions and fresh strike

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos says his country will not recognise the result of Sunday's vote in neighbouring Venezuela to elect a new assembly with power to rewrite the constitutionŲŒ according to "BBC". More than 3,000 people have been injured in clashes and more than 4,500 arrested in street protests that have grown increasingly violent.

Diosdado Cabello, first vice-president of Venezuela's socialist party, says the assembly will strip legislators in the opposition-controlled National Assembly of their immunity from prosecution.

The threat appeared to dampen public anti-government demonstrations of the sort that, in the past four months, have led to 113 deaths -eight of them during a two-day general strike that ended Thursday.

Thousands of Venezuelans loaded with heavy bags have crossed the border into Colombia this week, fleeing the unrest.

Troops were sent throughout the country to secure preparations for Sunday's vote, Adm. Remigio Ceballos said.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters at a rally in Caracas. President Trump has said he would weigh additional sanctions against individuals who are elected to the National Constituent Assembly, as well as other punitive measures. He has repeated that the election will go ahead, protected by the military.

Colombia's finance minister earlier Firday told a local radio station that his nation would sanction the same 13 current and former high-level Venezuelan officials cited by the US government earlier in the week. While Ms. Polga said she was grateful to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for her statement welcoming the USA sanctions this week, she said the government must "take action".

Opposition has called for a "Take Over of Venezuela" march on Friday against President Maduro's Constituent Assembly vote on Friday.

But Maduro called for the constitutional revisions, and with pro-Maduro candidates running for numerous seats, including former ministers in his government, the body is likely to favor him. "The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles".

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The country's chief prosecutor reported Thursday via Twitter that a 16-year-old died at a protest in the capital overnight and a 23-year-old man was slain in a demonstration in Merida state.

"We don't recognize any sanction", he said.

Opposition says that would cement Maduro's dictatorship in Venezuela.

Those who are against Maduro's brand of socialism said they would not vote in Sunday's election aimed at selecting the "constituent assembly".

Given Canada's concerns about the Maduro regime, Ms. Todgham Cherniak said she wonders why the government has not yet sanctioned any Venezuelans. "What unifies us today in this cause isn't interference in another country's affairs, but support for its people", he said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is paying homage to the late Hugo Chavez on what would have been his predecessor's 63rd birthday.

The oil export-dependent economy will shrink 12% this year, after a contraction of 18% last year, according to the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund.

Some families were leaving Venezuela ahead of the Sunday vote for a controversial legislative superbody, which will have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.

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