Octubre 16, 2021

Security personnel take opposition leaders into custody in Venezuela

01 Agosto 2017, 11:08 | Bibiana Flor

Security personnel take opposition leaders into custody in Venezuela

Venezuela Maduro constitutional assembly vote

In May, Maduro said "perfecting" the constitution would "lay the foundations of the recovery of peace in the republic", which has been in political turmoil since former president Hugo Chavez died in 2013.

Global condemnation of the latest vote has been widespread.

In Washington, the senior USA diplomat for the Americas, Acting Assistant Secretary Antonio Francisco Palmieri, tweeted that the detentions were "further evidence of the Maduro regime's authoritarianism".

Monday's move follows through on a USA threat of action last week against Maduro and his socialist government if they went ahead with Sunday's election.

Venezuela's intelligence service took two prominent opposition leaders back to prison early on Tuesday, authorities said, as embattled President Nicolas Maduro moved to shore up his power after an election widely denounced as a sham.

The videos of the opposition leader's arrest were posted on Twitter.

"Maduro is not just a bad leader", McMaster said. The constituyente, as it is known, could set the stage for the Maduro government to totally and indefinitely consolidate its power, criminalize the opposition without limits, and usher in a new and even darker phase in Venezuela's crisis. Brazil was governed by a succession of generals, with democracy emerging only in 1985.

PDVSA also regularly buys US light crude for processing at its Isla refinery in Curacao and to formulate an exportable Dilute Crude Oil (DCO) blend that is shipped from the Caribbean island to customers in the United States and Asia. In Argentina's "dirty war" that lasted until 1983, thousands of dissidents disappeared at the hands of the military regime, some cast into the ocean from planes. According to the NGO Foro Penal, Venezuela 490 "political prisoners".

"If something happens to him, Maduro will be held responsible", Tintori said on Twitter.

It's not confirmed who took him or where he was taken, but the video posted by Tintori shows Lopez being driven away in a vehicle marked "SEBIN", an abbreviation for the Venezuelan intelligence service.

Shortly after the controversial vote, Lopez and Ledezma were taken from their homes, according to their families. "We do not know where he was taken", Oriette said. Critics say Sunday's vote eroded the country's democracy.

Is Maduro becoming a dictator?

The dawn detentions are a "horrible sign", tweeted Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz. More than 7.6 million votes gathered by the opposition on July 16, in a referendum against the proposed Constituent assembly. But tremors radiated through markets.

Venezuela exported the third most oil to the far this year, behind Saudi Arabia and Canada, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

"Anyone who participates in this illegitimate (constituent assembly) could be exposed to future US sanctions for their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela", Mnuchin said.

"It is very sad what has become Venezuela".

Opinion polls had said some 85% of Venezuelans disapproved of the constitutional assembly and similar numbers disapproved of Mr Maduro's overall performance. "I think there's a lot of rumors they've been blocking the important food and medicines and things like that, because they control a lot of the companies", he told the newspaper.

While Maduro still enjoys the unwavering support of hardcore Chavistas, including a host of socialist paramilitary groups who have been accused of killing opposition activists with impunity, ordinary Venezuelans are less convinced.

The vote was roiled by protests and repression from security forces, deepening deadly violence that has left a death toll of 125 in four months of demonstrations against Maduro. A mass march against the regime is scheduled for Wednesday.

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