United Nations slams Venezuela on 'excessive force' as tensions rise

10 August, 2017, 00:15 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Venezuela

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.

President Nicolas Maduro summoned the constitutional assembly in what he contends is an attempt to resolve the nation's political standoff, but opposition leaders insist it is a power grab.

The foreign ministers of 17 Western Hemisphere nations met in Peru to discuss how to force Maduro to back down.

The u.s. State department blasted the assembly, rejected by 72% of Venezuelans according to the institute Datanalisis, as "the result illegitimate an irregular procedure designed by a dictator".

Also Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the mayor of the district of Chacao, in Caracas, Ramon Muchacho, for not following an order to remove barricades during recent protests.

- Security forces allegedly are responsible at least 46 deaths.

They said they would not recognize the Constituent Assembly.

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

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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 global organizations.

The constituent Assembly, which serve for two years, began the household among the critics, dismissing the prosecutor general Luisa Ortega, has become in recent months fierce opponent of the president, and replace it with a true power.

The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convinced the crisis in Venezuela can't be solved "through the imposition of unilateral measures" and is again urging the government and opposition to relaunch negotiations.

The UN rights office based in Switzerland lamented what it called "widespread and systematic use of excessive force and arbitrary detentions against demonstrators in Venezuela".

To counter the perception that it was isolated internationally, Venezuela on Tuesday hosted a meeting of allied nations in Caracas.

Commission members are looking into the latest wave of violent anti-government protests since April, as well as mass rallies during the first months of 2014 protesting the country's high levels of urban violence, inflation, and chronic shortages of basic goods attributed to economic policies.

At least 40 global leaders have called on Maduro not to launch the new Assembly, threating not to recognize it.

It was recently suspended from South America's Mercosur trade bloc and the Trump administration sanctioned several top officials including Maduro.

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