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Main Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Have Been Taken From Their Homes

08 Agosto 2017

"I am deeply concerned that opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma have again been taken into custody by Venezuelan authorities after their house arrest was revoked", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement. The Trump administration backed away from earlier threats to sanction Venezuela's oil industry - a move that could undermine Maduro's government but raise U.S. gas prices and deepen Venezuela's humanitarian crisis.

Washingtons decision came in response to Sundays election of National Constituent Assembly representatives, which it called a “farce.”. Other countries could follow the U.S. example and condition their dealings with Maduro on the approval of Venezuela's legitimate opposition-majority congress.

Surveys by polling firm Datanalisis showed more than 70 percent of Venezuelans opposed the new assembly. The opposition will likely harden in its resistance, while Maduro will further consolidate his grip on power. He said he would use the assembly's powers to bar opposition candidates from running in gubernatorial elections in December unless they sit with his party to negotiate an end to hostilities that have generated four months of protests that have killed at least 120 and wounded nearly 2,000.

Venezuela's death spiral continues.

The declining quality of Venezuelan crude comes as output has been falling and a growing number of Venezuela's barrels have been used to pay for loans from Russia and China. "Maduro is responsible if something happens to him".

The new constituent assembly is to start working on Wednesday. "We make the regime responsible for his life and integrity!"

An exit poll based on surveys from 110 voting centers by New York investment bank Torino Capital and a Venezuela public opinion company estimated 3.6 million people voted, or about 18.5 percent of registered voters. The Venezuelan leader retorted that he would not heed what he slammed as "imperial orders".

The European Union and nations including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Britain and the United States criticized Sunday's vote.

"The national constituent assembly is a very risky bet for the president, even in terms of his own coalition", said Francisco Monaldi, a Venezuela analyst at Rice University.

Maduro said he had received congratulations from the governments of Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, among others. But operational problems at Venezuela's Orinoco Belt have changed the quality of some grades for exports, one of the sources said. The opposition has called a big rally for that day.

He said Sunday's vote had given Maduro "less legitimacy, less credibility, less popular support and less ability to govern". The opposition parties boycotted the election, and the new body will be dominated by supporters of Maduro's ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Following the vote, Maduro disturbingly said the opposition 'already has its prison cell waiting'.

Main Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Have Been Taken From Their Homes