Venezuela's new Assembly declares itself superior to all other government bodies

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Venezuela's new Assembly declares itself superior to all other government bodies

The Trump administration is preparing sanctions against another group of Venezuelan officials linked to President Nicolas Maduro in response to his creation of a new legislative super body in defiance of world condemnation, United States officials said on Monday.

The Venezuelan government is making it harder for opposition groups to take to the streets.

Delcy Rodriguez, the head of the ruling socialist party and leader of the body, said the unanimously approved decree prohibits lawmakers in congress from taking any action that would interfere with laws passed by the newly installed Constituent Assembly.

Colombia's Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, along with foreign ministers and representatives from across the Americas, gives a news conference after a meeting to discuss the Venezuelan crisis, in Lima, Peru, August 8, 2017.

He wrote in Spanish that if Maduro were to order it, he would "dress as a soldier for a free Venezuela, to fight imperialism".

He said Guterres is also supporting global and regional efforts seeking to revive talks.

The U.S. has called the vote to create the assembly illegitimate and a sign that President Nicolas Maduro is trying to strengthen what the U.S. calls his "dictatorship".

On Tuesday, Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered the arrest and 15-month imprisonment of opposition mayor Ramon Muchacho.

The responsibility for human rights violations in Venezuela "lies at the highest level of government", the United Nations human rights office has said.

Venezuelan security forces have wielded excessive force to suppress protests, killing dozens, and have arbitrarily detained 5,000 people since April, including 1,000 still in custody. In a statement, the United Nations Human Rights body said an investigation into the volatile situation revealed that security forces are responsible for at least 46 protest-related deaths.

Among the other agreements reached by the ANC is the support to the Commission of Truth, Justice and Peace to investigate the deaths during the violent protests in the country led by the right-wing opposition.

A full report on the team's findings is expected later this month.

The President also welcomed the ANC's decision to remove the sitting prosecutor general, Luisa Ortega Diaz, a vocal Maduro critic, and named former ombudsman Tarek William Saab as a temporary replacement.

The ministers issued a statement after the meeting condemning the constitutional assembly and reiterating previous calls for the parties in Venezuela to negotiate on ending the political crisis.

The meeting came just days after the inauguration of a government-backed Constituent Assembly was widely panned among much of the global community. Still, Venezuela is facing mounting pressure and threats of deepening sanctions from trade partners.

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