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Regional diplomats reject Venezuela's assembly

10 August 2017

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, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Constituent Assembly, which does not include opposition supporters due to their boycott, convened in the same building as the opposition-controlled National Assembly and decreed itself superior to all other government institutions.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court imposed a jail term on the mayor of Caracas, Ramon Muchacho, who is a member of the opposition.

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.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that Guterres "is concerned that recent developments could lead to further escalation of tensions and distance the country from a path conducive to a peaceful solution to its challenges".

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, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The situation became more acute with the installation of the Constituent Assembly last Friday, given that the body was not recognized by the Venezuelan opposition or by many governments and worldwide organizations.

He says people can be tempted to violence when they feel their electoral and constitutional options are closed - a situation the opposition says is developing in Venezuela.

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Foreign ministers of 16 Latin American and Caribbean nations as well as Canada met in Peru on Tuesday to evaluate further measures.

Foreign ministers from 17 Western Hemisphere nations are condemning Venezuela's new constitutional assembly, saying their governments will refuse to recognize the all-powerful body.

Inflation in Venezuela's crisis-hit economy quickened to 248.6 percent in the first seven months of the year, the opposition-led congress said on Wednesday in the absence of official data.

Peru's president has been vocal in rejecting the new assembly, but the region has found that agreeing on any collective actions has proved tricky.

The July 30 election of the Constituent Assembly was marred by street violence in which 10 people died, and charges of fraud brought by the British-based company that supplied the polling technology.

It remained unclear who was behind the remaining deaths, the rights office said.

Despite a widespread popular uprising, that has been violently repressed by state security forces, causing more than 120 deaths, Corbyn appears to place ideological affinity with his socialist comrade Maduro over human rights considerations, even though virtually the entire global community has aligned to reject Maduro's power grab. According to the government, two of the intruders were killed and eight were captured, but the others got away.

Regional diplomats reject Venezuela's assembly