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Venezuela: New assembly approves treason trials for opposition

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EPA

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The new Venezuelan political body is packed with opposition supporters

Venezuela’s new constituent assembly has voted to put opposition leaders on trial for treason.

The assembly said it would pursue those it accuses of supporting US economic sanctions against the country.

Washington approved the measures last week in response to what it called the “dictatorship” of President Nicolás Maduro.

President Maduro has accused the US of trying cripple Venezuela’s economy amid an ongoing economic crisis.

On Tuesday, members of the assembly unanimously approved a decree calling for the investigation of “traitors” who supported the economic sanctions, but did not name specific people.

The constituent assembly, which is made up of government supporters, assumed the powers of the opposition-led parliament earlier this month.

Former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, who runs the assembly, said the body would urge the chief prosecutor to begin investigations immediately, Reuters reported.

The country’s former chief prosecutor and government critic, Luisa Ortega, was replaced by the constituent assembly on its first day in office.

She fled the country, and was replaced by a supporter of President Maduro, Tarek William Saab.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 25 August to ban trade in Venezuelan debt or the sale of bonds from its state oil company.

His reasons included “serious abuses of human rights” as well as the creation of the “illegitimate” constituent assembly, which the US accuses of usurping the democratically elected parliament.


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