White House Compares Venezuelan President to Assad, Kim Jung Un

Violent protests over Venezuelan election

Ledezma, 62, was arrested in February 2015 on charges of conspiracy and racketeering and was placed under house arrest three months later for health reasons.

2017 11:46PMThe Trump administration on Monday froze assets, banned travel and prohibited Americans from dealing with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, calling him a dictator and accusing him of undermining democracy after he carried out an election Sunday for an all-powerful new legislative assembly in defiance of warnings from the global community.

The sanctions came after electoral authorities said more than 8 million people voted to create the constitutional assembly, a turnout doubted by independent analysts. What was it like on the streets during the day today?

At least 10 people were killed when the security forces tried to suppress spiralling anti-government protests.

Now, for months, Venezuela's government has held hundreds of political prisoners, with some arbitrarily detained and others prosecuted in the military justice system.

The assembly will draw up a new constitution that many believe is aimed only at securing Maduro's increasingly authoritarian rule.

"He was kidnapped once again, they took him from his house in the middle of the night", she said. But "the prison and the persecution of our leaders does not stop not rebellion".




However, as all the candidates in the election were government supporters - once the opposition waived to take part of the contest - the expected outcome is of an assembly 100% controlled by Nicolás Maduro's partisans. The opposition will likely harden in its resistance, while Maduro will further consolidate his grip on power. Maduro, whose mandate ends in 2019. As Venezuelans suffer food shortages and violence escalates, Maduro is seeking to rewrite the constitution after a Sunday vote to choose members of a so-called constituent assembly that the opposition and many foreign governments refused to recognize. "Maduro is not just a bad leader".

The opponent Julio Borges, president of the Parliament, assured that the legislature would continue to sit despite the election of the Constituent assembly.

But it's a risk some are willing to take: deeper scarcities may propel more Venezuelans to try to push the government out.

Mr. Maduro wished Monday that the Constituent assembly to waive the immunity of opposition parliamentarians for them to be judged.

Maduro's opponents at home and overseas described the election of a "temporary parliament" a naked attempt to subvert the authority of the National Assembly, with Spanish daily El Pais calling it "the last red line that separates a democracy from a dictatorship". More than 7.6 million votes gathered by the opposition on July 16, in a referendum against the proposed Constituent assembly. The opposition disputes the voting figures. The two, however, remained under house arrest.

The move was swiftly criticized as a "step in the wrong direction" by both the United States and the European Union.

Marczak recalled that the U.S. recognized the fleeting government of Pedro Carmona after a 2003 coup against Chavez that ultimately failed. Regional governments in Argentina, Colombia and Peru have also refused to recognise the vote. Conversely, Russia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and el Salvador have lent their support to Maduro.

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