Venezuela's controversial constitutional assembly meets for 1st time since election

Venezuela's currency the Bolivar has crumbled amid the political unrest in the country

Venezuela's currency the Bolivar has crumbled amid the political unrest in the country

After being hit with US sanctions and called a dictator by US President Donald Trump, Maduro said defiantly that he was standing up to what he called imperialism.

But Maduro's opponents have shown signs of division about how to move forward and have coming under increasing fire from some anti-government Venezuelans. "Tomorrow we start to act".

In recent years it has branched out to provide the same services to countries across the world, while continuing to provide support for elections in Venezuela.

The installation of the constitutional assembly is virtually certain to intensify a political crisis that has brought four months of protests that left at least 120 people dead and hundreds jailed.

Venezuela's contested new assembly fired the country's dissident attorney general, Luisa Ortega, on Saturday and ordered her to go on trial in a move sure to further inflame worldwide criticism of the leftist government.

But the opposition is struggling to regain its footing in the face of the government's strong-arm tactics and the re-emergence of old, internal divisions.

López, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for organizing peaceful protests in 2014, was also accused of trying to flee the country as well as violating his house arrest provisions with "political proselytizing" by calling on Venezuelans to assemble against the vote.

There has been speculation it's possible that Fitzpatrick's comments were a veiled message for opposition spokespeople such as Freddy Guevara, a legislator for Lopez's Popular Will party in the National Assembly.

Venezuela inflated turnout in vote, election firm says
Last week Washington sanctioned 13 senior Venezuelan officials after doing the same to the country's vice president in February. Maduro says the assembly's installation has been pushed back to Friday in order to "organize it well in peace and tranquility".

The vote itself was virtually meaningless since voters had no way of voting against the list of hand-picked Maduro cronies (including his wife) who would be charged with rewriting the nation's constitution to give Maduro even more power than he already has.

Before the National Constituent Assembly election, there have been casualties in the clashes between anti-government protesters and law enforcers.

"The Holy See expresses again her profound concern for the radicalization and aggravation of the crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, with the increase in the number of deaths, wounded and those who have been detained", read an August 4 Vatican communique. Maduro says the U.S.

On Aug. 1 Cardinal Parolin addressed the situation with local Italian media, saying he and Pope Francis are "very committed" to seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela. However, as you can see, it's usually violent.

"It's important for us to place responsibility for this catastrophe on Maduro's shoulders. He is the one who has caused it, and he's the one who's perpetuating it". Venezuela was suspended from the group in December. "Essentially what Mercosur is saying is: Without democracy, no, you can not be a part of Mercosur".

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the press yesterday that Maduro's National Constituent Assembly is illegal and therefore Colombia would not recognize any of its decisions.

The body's 545 delegates were expected to be installed at the legislative palace in a room just yards (meters) from the chamber where the opposition-controlled National Assembly meets.

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