Argentine soccer legend Maradona says he is a 'soldier' for Venezuela's Maduro

James Litton Lessons we should all learn from the election

Argentine soccer legend Maradona says he is a 'soldier' for Venezuela's Maduro

The United States slapped economic sanctions Wednesday on eight Venezuelan politicians linked to the creation of a controversial new assembly loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, including a brother of former president Hugo Chavez.

It also demanded the "implementation of the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights".

A certain discouragement seemed to win the ranks of the anti-Maduro, after the installation of the Constituent assembly that they have not managed to block.

The Trump administration is preparing sanctions against another group of Venezuelan officials linked to President Nicolas Maduro in response to his creation of a new legislative super body in defiance of world condemnation, United States officials said on Monday.

A statement signed by the 12 nations also condemned Venezuela for not allowing foreign donations of food and medicine and for the systematic violations of human rights.

In calling the July 30 election for the constitutional assembly, Maduro said a new constitution would help resolve the nation's political standoff, but opposition leaders view it is a power grab and the president's allies have said they will go after his opponents.

Ramon Muchacho, the mayor of the upscale Caracas municipality of Chacao, was one of a group of opposition mayors who had been threatened with arrest for failing to prevent street protests in their jurisdictions.

Analysts said discord could be seen in the lower ranks of the security forces. They expressed support for renewed negotiations between the government and opposition, though previous talks have failed.

The truth commission will function more as a tribunal than a venue that offers amnesty in return for healing testimony, the government has said.

The constitutional assembly's meeting Tuesday came as criticism mounted from foreign governments that have refused to recognize the new body.

The opposition is struggling to regain its footing since last week's seating of a loyalist special assembly, which is now busy rewriting the country's constitution.

The assembly was expected to gather at the legislative palace in Caracas for the first time since voting Saturday to remove the nation's outspoken chief prosecutor, a move that drew condemnation from numerous same regional government that are sending representatives to the meeting in Peru's capital.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told representatives from nations including Cuba and Bolivia that long-standing USA aggressions against the South American nation have "entered a much stronger phase".

Venezuelan security forces have wielded excessive force to suppress protests, killing dozens, and have arbitrarily detained 5,000 people since April, including 1,000 still in custody.

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