Venezuela Socialist Party official says "irregular situation" controlled

Jerome Frank
August 7, 2017

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry calls Luisa Ortega Diaz's ouster "arbitrary and illegal". Support for the president is diminishing amid a deep economic recession in the country, making room for opposition parties, which won the legislative election in 2015 and since then have the majority of the seats in the Venezuelan Congress.

The troubled South American nation has been engulfed by protests since April.

Ortega - a onetime loyalist turned vocal government critic - has said the new assembly was fraudulently elected.

The Prosecutor general's office, which she heads, was opened on Wednesday an investigation for electoral fraud alleged in the election of the constituent Assembly on 30 July, claiming in addition to the cancellation of the installation of this all-powerful institution.

An opposition party official in Venezuela says a local leader has been shot dead at a protest near a military base that was attacked earlier by a group opposed to President Nicolas Maduro's government.

One of the attackers was killed and another was badly wounded during the assault, army chief Jesus Suarez Chourio said.

The FANB has some 365,000 troops (army, navy, air force, national guard and reserve), only 1,000 fewer than Brazil, according to the Latin American Security and Defense Network, a policy and analysis centre.

Officials said the rebels, whom they described as "terrorists", were trying to steal weapons, and that seven people were detained after the attack on the base. "Not only do they stop people arbitrarily, but they are judged by the military justice system, and now they do not let the attorney general in his office". The man was dismissed from the service three years ago "for treason and mutiny", the military said in a statement, adding that he reportedly fled the country and was hiding out in the US.

Padrino Lopez calls the incident a "propaganda show".

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Jesus Suarez Chourio says troops responded "with one fist" and "the riffraff was defeated once again".

Here are some key facts about the Venezuelan military, formally the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, or FANB.

Flores said the ongoing social upheaval in Venezuela is behind the trend. That intensified this week with the election and installation of a constitutional assembly that will rule with almost unlimited powers.

On Saturday prominent opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was returned home to serve his sentence under house arrest, days after being hauled back to prison in the middle of the night in a move that drew global condemnation. He later reportedly sought exile after a military tribunal ordered his arrest, appearing in an interview on CNN en Espanol to draw attention to dissatisfaction within the ranks over Venezuela's demise.

The eyewitness spoke to The Associated Press by phone from Valencia and insisted on not being named for fear of possible reprisals.

Diosdado Cabello, deputy leader of the socialist party, tweeted that it was a "terrorist attack".

A witness near the military base, in the town of Naguanagua, reported hearing gunshots before dawn, but Cabello maintained that the situation had been brought under control.

It came after a video was released showing a group in military clothing declaring that they wanted to save the country from "destruction".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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