New US Penalties Against 8 More People Over Venezuela Crisis

An image of alleged plotters captured after the weekend raid was posted on Twitter

"This regime's disregard for the will of the Venezuelan people is unacceptable, and the United States will stand with them in opposition to tyranny until Venezuela is restored to a peaceful and prosperous democracy".

Meanwhile, Caracas stepped up moves against the opposition, whose protest movement appears to be losing steam as repression against it increases.

Chacao was previously governed by Leopoldo Lopez, the most prominent activist to have been jailed by the Maduro government, and is the main gathering point for protests that have left at least 124 dead and hundreds more injured or arrested.

Venezuela's opposition is calling for a nationwide protest Tuesday against the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

On Friday, Venezuela inaugurated a new legislative superbody that is expected to rewrite the constitution and give vast powers to Maduro's ruling Socialist Party, defying protests and worldwide condemnation that it undermines democratic freedoms.

The new constitutional assembly has signalled it will act swiftly in following Maduro's commands, voting to replace chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz with a government loyalist and to create a "truth commission" that will wield unusual power to prosecute and levy sentences, The Independent reported.

"Witness accounts suggest that security forces, mainly the National Guard, the National Police and local police forces, have systematically used disproportionate force to instil fear, crush dissent, and to prevent demonstrators from assembling, rallying and reaching public institutions to present petitions", the rights office said in a statement.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres expressed concern "that recent developments could lead to further escalation of tensions".




He has defied global condemnation , including from the UK, America and the United Nations, and has presided over three-digit inflation and a shortage of food and medicine.

The group, equipped with machineguns and grenade launchers, were part of a team of about 20 men who attempted to start a military uprising against the Venezuelan leader before dawn on Sunday.

According to the government, two rebels were killed and eight captured.

The country's defense minister and head of the armed forces, General Vladimir Padrino, insisted the attackers were "terrorists" acting with U.S. backing and in no way represented a split within the military.

Delegates to the constitutional assembly on Tuesday were filing into the stately domed chamber where congress normally meets - and did as recently as Monday. He stressed the "anti-imperialist" and "revolutionary" character of the armed forces.

The countries that signed it were Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Mexico. It was recently suspended from South America's Mercosur trade bloc and the Trump administration sanctioned several top officials including Maduro.

Maduro on Tuesday called for a dialogue with his regional rivals.

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