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Venezuela's voter turnout figures tampered with

Venezuela's voter turnout figures tampered with

I have said it before, and I will say it again; how can a country like Venezuela-with such good people, blessed with huge oil reserves, huge gold and iron ore reserves, and a once prospering agricultural sector-be so cursed?

The assembly will have powers to rewrite the constitution, and is viewed by opponents as a power-grab by President Maduro to seize control of the state institutions that oppose him. The Venezuelan Supreme Court says "official intelligence sources" warned that Lopez and Ledezma were planning to flee.

If it dissolves the National Assembly or gets rid of the attorney general's office, as has been threatened, Maduro wants parliamentary immunity to be lifted from opposition lawmakers, who he alleges have incited violence at protests.

The judges said that Mr Lopez and Mr Ledezma had also violated the terms of their house arrest which forbade making public political statements.

The developments appeared to be President Nicolas Maduro's first moves against his enemies since a widely denounced vote giving his government almost unlimited powers.

"I will not obey imperial orders". The figures are disputed by the opposition which posted photos of empty polling stations throughout the election day, saying that over 90 percent of the eligible voters did not attend.

The news may support opposition charges that the results were inflated to add credibility to the vote, which established a National Constituent Assembly beholden to Maduro.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is calling for the immediate release of two prominent Venezuelan opposition leaders who were taken into custody. "The next steps are for the worldwide community to press the Venezuelan regime to make changes and cancel the (election) results and revoke whatever happened, to move forward".

Sunday's vote brought the crisis to a boiling point, drawing global condemnation.

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"Sanctions will make things worse for the Venezuelan regime, but won't really hurt the Venezuelan people any more than (they're hurting) already", Purgatorio said.

The decision led to national outcry, with the opposition claiming the ruling moved Venezuela closer to a dictatorship with Maduro at the helm.

Maduro not only stood by the official count of 8 million-plus votes cast in Sunday's divisive election, but proclaimed that an additional 2 million people would have voted if they hadn't been blocked by anti-government protesters. "I feel proud to be sanctioned, Mister Imperialist Donald Trump". Maduro said he had received congratulations from the governments of Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, among others.

Maduro told members of the newly chosen constituent assembly Wednesday night that Smartmatic bent to US pressures aimed at casting doubt on the official results announced for Sunday's vote. As with last week's round of sanctions against 13 high-level government officials, all of Maduro's assets subject to US jurisdiction are now frozen and people from the USA are prohibited from dealing with the president.

The drop in global energy prices and political corruption have destroyed Venezuela's oil-rich economy.

Ten people died in violence surrounding Sunday's election, which saw security forces fire tear gas and, in some cases, live ammunition to put down protests. Food is scarce; medicine scarcer still.

In recent years it has branched out to provide the same services to countries across the world, while continuing to provide support for elections in Venezuela.

The row comes amid in-party tensions over its Labour leader Jeremey Corbyn's response to the crisis in the South American state.

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