Venezuela's Top Court Orders Opposition Mayor Jailed

Stop the War Coalition says Tory attacks on Venezuela "cannot be taken at face value" following criticism of left ...

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court imposed a jail term on the mayor of Caracas, Ramon Muchacho, who is a member of the opposition.

He has defied worldwide condemnation , including from the UK, America and the United Nations, and has presided over three-digit inflation and a shortage of food and medicine.

It highlighted the use of force "to instill fear, crush dissent, and to prevent demonstrators from assembling, rallying and reaching public institutions to present petitions".

To work around the Parliament, where the opposition is in the majority since the beginning of 2016, it installed Saturday for a constituent Assembly, can dissolve the Parliament and rewrite the Constitution of the deceased Hugo Chavez, president from 1999 to 2013.

Opposition lawmakers said Tuesday that they were barred from entering the gold-domed legislative palace after security forces led by Rodriguez broke into the congress late Monday.

"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.

"As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime's ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

Chacao was previously governed by Leopoldo Lopez, the most prominent activist to have been jailed by the Maduro government, and is the main gathering point for protests that have left at least 124 dead and hundreds more injured or arrested.

"I call on all parties to work towards a solution to the rapidly worsening tensions in the country, to renounce the use of violence and to take steps towards meaningful political dialogue", Zeid said.

Foreign ministers of 16 Latin American and Caribbean nations as well as Canada met in Peru on Tuesday to evaluate further measures.

The constitutional assembly's meeting Tuesday came as criticism mounted from foreign governments that have refused to recognize the new body.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan authorities say a manhunt is underway after an anti-government paramilitary attack at a military barracks in the northwestern city of Valencia early Sunday.

Peru's president has been vocal in rejecting the new Venezuelan assembly, but the region has had trouble agreeing on collective actions. An election for delegates to the constitutional assembly was fraught with accusations of vote tampering.

The assembly was expected to gather at the legislative palace in Caracas for the first time since voting Saturday to remove the nation's outspoken chief prosecutor, a move that drew condemnation from numerous same regional government that are sending representatives to the meeting in Peru's capital.

According to the government, two rebels were killed and eight captured.

On Monday, hackers hijacked the home pages of several government bodies and private companies in support of the rebel raid, posting excerpts from Charlie Chaplin's movie The Great Dictator.

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