Regional diplomats reject Venezuela's assembly

Posted August 10, 2017

The next round is still expected to stop short of penalties against Venezuela's vital oil sector, considered the toughest of possible sanctions, though such measures, United States sources have said, remain under consideration.

"What we have in Venezuela is a dictatorship", Peruvian Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Luna told a press conference, flanked by his counterparts from the region.

"At this critical time", the Secretary-General urged the Venezuelan Government and the opposition to relaunch negotiations for the benefit of the country's people, said the statement, adding that Mr. Guterres is strongly supporting the ongoing efforts of the worldwide facilitators and regional actors who are seeking to contribute to this end.

TRT World's Sara Firth has this report.

It also wants the group to condemn the new assembly's firing of Venezuela's attorney general, Luisa Ortega, an outspoken critic of Maduro, after she broke ranks with him.

They also condemned the violence and human rights violations being committed in that country, Efe news reported.

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Meanwhile, foreign ministers from 14 countries met in Peru in hopes of finding a regional response to Venezuela's political crisis.

This mission, Maradona said, "is the most sacred thing we have".

This leaves Venezuela isolated in an important way in regional politics, with only the support of Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Presenting the preliminary findings from an investigation conducted in June and July, the United Nations rights office described "a picture of widespread and systematic use of excessive force and arbitrary detentions against demonstrators in Venezuela".

The opposition had called for new roadblocks on Tuesday, but only a few hundred people participated in the east of Caracas, before being dispersed by tear gas. An election for delegates to the constitutional assembly was fraught with accusations of vote tampering.

The election of an assembly to rewrite Venezuela's constitution sparked worldwide condemnation and led the impose sanctions on top officials.

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Latin American foreign ministers said Tuesday that they would refuse to recognize any decision taken by Venezuela's new constitutional assembly in which President Nicolas Maduro has placed all his hopes of retaining power.

And a loyalist "Constituent Assembly" - a body with supreme powers installed last week after elections marred by violence and allegations of fraud - passed a law creating a "truth commission" to prosecute opposition leaders.

"We are not threatening anyone", said Aristobulo Isturiz, the Constituent Assembly's first vice president. "We are looking for ways to coexist".

Leaders of congress, which previously voted not to recognise any of the new super-body's decrees, said lawmakers would try to meet in the gold-domed legislative palace Wednesday, but there were questions whether security officers guarding the building would let them in.

Venezuela's opposition is calling for a nationwide protest Tuesday against the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

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