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Venezuela bans protests against new Assembly vote

Venezuela bans protests against new Assembly vote

The Table of the unity democratic (MUD), the opposition coalition has already called a 24-hour general strike last week, has been organizing since nearly four months of protests nearly daily against Maduro, which he claims the starting.

Opponents say it's a way for President Nicholas Maduro to bypass Venezuela's parliament.

"That would clearly be a dire situation since Venezuela is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to the United States".

"On July 30, the constituent (assembly) will go ahead with the vote of the people", he said in a televised broadcast.

"As our sanctions demonstrate, the United States is standing by the Venezuelan people in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

An average of 78 people a day died violently past year in this country of 31.5 million, according the non-governmental Venezuelan Violence Observatory. More than 7 million Venezuelans - almost 40% of the voting population - cast ballots against Maduro's proposals in the non-binding referendum.

As The Two-Way's Camila Domonoske reported last week, "Venezuela is one of the largest foreign suppliers of oil to the USA, accounting for almost 10 percent of total imports".

The opposition has boycotted the vote, warning it is a power grab by Maduro but the president reckons it as the only way to peace after four months of street protests against his government in which more than 100 people have been killed. And under no circumstance should the United States intervene directly against Maduro's government.

Meanwhile, the opposition has called for a two-day nationwide strike starting on Wednesday.




It seemed like a potential turning point - the National Assembly could vote to impeach Maduro, who had verbally clashed with opposition leaders since becoming president in 2013.

The Venezuelan prosecutor's office said on Thursday that a 23-year-old man was killed in western Merida state and a 16-year-old boy died in the poor Caracas neighbourhood of Petare during clashes on Wednesday.

A planned protest march Friday in the capital, Caracas, will follow the 48-hour walkout.

Thirteen countries in the 35-member Organization of American States, a regional political bloc, have also urged Maduro to suspend the election.

Thousands of Venezuelans have also crossed the border into neighboring Colombia in the run-up to the Sunday vote, during which more violence is expected.

The oil export-dependent economy will shrink 12 percent this year, after a contraction of 18% last year, the International Monetary Fund said.

According to polling firm Datanalisis, about 70 per cent of Venezuelans are opposed to the Constituent Assembly. The assembly is a sham body with one goal: changing Venezuela's constitution to let megalomaniacal Maduro remain president for an unbearably long time.

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez appealed to the military, which is fiercely loyal to the president, to withdraw its support from Maduro's plan, which he called a "constitutional fraud" aimed at eliminating democratic rule.

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