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05 Agosto 2017, 11:25 | Bibiana Flor
GETTYLivingstone denied claims he blamed Venezuela crisis on Chávez’s'unwillingness to kill oligarchs
The country is suffering food and medicine shortages.
The former foreign minister also lashed out at US President Donald Trump, whose government established a series of sanctions against Venezuelan officials as a form of pressure to stop the installation of the Constituent Assembly.
The assembly was scheduled to meet again Saturday, and Rodriguez pledged it would be taking action against Maduro's political opponents.
"The worldwide community should not make a mistake over Venezuela".
Speaking to the National Guard that have been on the front lines of four months of deadly protests, Maduro promised that more than 580 members of the force who he said had been attacked since the protest movement began would receive reparations as part of the work of the Constitutional assembly that convened for the first time Friday.
Although brushed off by Maduro as part of a plot by "the global enemy", Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega - a thorn in the president's side - ordered an investigation. More than 120 people have been killed in the ongoing unrest. But the opposition boycotted the vote and observers have questioned the official results.
The Supreme Court briefly attempted to dissolve the National Assembly in March, sparking a wave of almost daily protests.
The opposition has vowed to maintain street protests against the assembly, but the risk has grown that the new body could take sterner measures against demonstrators.
Maduro on Sunday said one of the top priorities of the constituent assembly, which has no formal restrictions on its power, would be a "restructuring" of the chief prosecutor's office.
Maduro had threatened the new assembly, tasked with rewriting the constitution, would not only get rid of Ortega, but also target opposition lawmakers who control the democratically elected parliament.
This was met by roaring applause at what is officially the first session of this assembly, broadcast live on the state-run TV channel.
These actions have drawn worldwide scorn.
Governments from Spain to Canada to Argentina have spoken out against the assembly. So far, force has worked in Maduros favor, as it did for Chavez before him: Maduro managed to win a narrow election in 2013, violent riots in 2014, the loss of the legislative in 2015, halting the recall against him as well as state and city elections in 2016 through increasingly heavy-handed repression, mass arrests, extended censorship and threats.
After a fraud probe delayed its launch, it unanimously elected to its leadership well-known allies of President Nicolas Maduro. "This country has lost its freedom".
"Only with the tweets they published, it's enough to send them to prison for 30 years, " Maduro told the new assembly. That may have been a preview of what lies ahead for those who dare to oppose the regime.
The new assembly also set its term - for now - at two years.
He says the new assembly is the only way to unify Venezuela into a peaceful, prosperous socialist state.
Yet another nation - this one in our own hemisphere - is sliding rapidly into dictatorship and the world must not let Venezuela become the next Cuba.
Certainly, the crash of the price of oil, which accounts for about 95 per cent of the country's export earnings, dealt a significant blow to the economy. "Essentially what Mercosur is saying is: Without democracy, no, you can not be a part of Mercosur".
More than 40 countries have said they would not recognize the assembly.
"And that's led to a huge problem of scarcity and inflation".
She added that the ANC, with its "sovereign and plenipotentiary power", will "heal Venezuela of the wounds of the economic war".
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The moves were a remarkable response to the president's repeated threats to send health insurance markets into a tailspin . The way such an arrangement would work would be a group, say a professional association, to offer group health insurance.
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