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Venezuela uses 'excessive force to crush dissent'

10 August 2017

The UN announcement came as Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered the arrest of opposition mayor Ramon Muchacho of the Caracas district of Chacao, which has been the site of intense anti-government protests against President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela is already struggling under a dire economic crisis in which much of the population of 30 million is suffering shortages of food and medicine.

It highlighted witness accounts of police and soldiers using "disproportionate force to instill fear, crush dissent, and to prevent demonstrators from assembling, rallying and reaching public institutions to present petitions".

They said they would not recognize the Constituent Assembly.

The opposition legislators sought to enter the building but they were not allowed, sharpening tensions between the rival bodies.

The situation became more acute with the installation of the Constituent Assembly last Friday, given that the body was not recognized by the Venezuelan opposition or by many governments and global organizations.

In late July, following Venezuelan election to the National Constituent Assembly, the United States introduced sanctions against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro for "undermining democracy", freezing all his assets subject to USA jurisdiction.

Mr. Guterres' spokesman said United Nations is closely following events in the country and is convinced the crisis requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise.

Some 130 people have been killed in protest-related clashes in Venezuela over the past four months.

Police believe child found dead in van was in vehicle all day
Authorities said the Florida Department of Children and Families will conduct an institutional investigation. "I'm numb. Monday, the driver had picked up Myles and other kids at the center and drove them to another Little Miracles location.

The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is convinced the crisis in Venezuela can't be solved "through the imposition of unilateral measures" and is again urging the government and opposition to relaunch negotiations.

Major Latin American nations have rejected the legitimacy of the Constituent Assembly, and South American nations have indefinitely suspended Venezuela from the Mercosur trading bloc for breaking "democratic order".

Mariana Bazzo/Reuters Peru's Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna (C) along with foreign ministers and representatives from across the Americas, called Venezuela now a ‘dictatorship', Ministers criticize human rights violations and use of violence, in Lima, Peru, August 8, 2017.

Peru's president has been a vocal critic of the Maduro regime, but the region has had trouble agreeing on collective actions.

Washington called the vote for a Constituent Assembly in late July a "sham" and several Latin American leaders have been critical and called for a referendum vote in Venezuela.

Foreign ministers from 17 Western Hemisphere nations, however, refused to recognise the new "all-powerful body", AP reported.

Venezuelan authorities did not respond to the team's request for access, the office said.

To counter the perception that it was isolated internationally, Venezuela on Tuesday hosted a meeting of allied nations in Caracas. He appeared in a video released on the day of the attack encouraging other military units to join his rebellion.

Venezuela uses 'excessive force to crush dissent'