Elections for National Constituent Assembly kicks off in Venezuela

Elections for National Constituent Assembly kicks off in Venezuela

One day before the election, which is widely seen as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro, a leading candidate and an opposition activist were shot dead.

Deaths in the anti-government demonstrations and upheaval climbed to at least 113 on Friday.

The Swiss Foreign ministry has said it is "deeply concerned" about the current situation in Venezuela and that the election of a new constituent assembly in the country should be scrapped.

There have been reports of sporadic looting and clashes between protesters manning barricades of tree branches and barbed wire since the demonstration ban was put in place.

Violence continued to rage on the streets, with another seven people killed during the latest opposition-led strike against President Nicolas Maduro's planned election for a powerful new Constituent Assembly today.

Maduro's critics say that the only people who are candidates for membership in this national assembly will be his supporters, who could revise the country's constitution to keep him in office indefinitely.

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The opposition and U.S. moves are to force Maduro to give up his plan to have a 545-member "Constituent Assembly" elected on Sunday.

Sunday's unrest highlighted the tensions over the vote called by beleaguered President Nicolas Maduro despite months of demonstrations and fierce global criticism.

The run-up to the vote has been marked by months of clashes between protesters and the government that have left at least 116 dead and almost 2000 wounded. "Hopefully the world will respectfully extend its arms toward our country". A popular referendum will be held on the new constitution after it is drafted.

The government is encouraging participation with tactics that include offering social benefits like subsidized food to the poor and threatening state workers' jobs if they don't vote.

"I hope things get better", said Marquez after acknowledging that Venezuelans are experiencing tough economic times.

The election, and opposition rejection of it, has heightened the sense of alarm among Venezuela's citizens, who are finding it increasingly hard to survive among food shortages and runaway inflation. "All the criminals will go to prison for the crimes they've committed".

The 545-member citizens' assembly will be tasked with rewriting the constitution and be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled Congress.

Trump said Lebanon fights Hezbollah ... it's actually part of the government
Hezbollah is not a menace to the Lebanese state; Hezbollah is the Lebanese state, a force in control of central state organs. Whilst the group is Lebanese, it is strongly backed by Iran, and its political wing is very influential within the country.

"If Venezuela were to be consumed by chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution were to be destroyed, then we would engage in combat, we will never surrender", said Maduro.

The United States, who already impose sanctions against Venezuela, stepped up the pressure with President Trump promisingexternal link "strong and swift economic actions" if the assembly comes into effect.

Maduro's supporters on the Supreme Court set off the protests and clashes between police and demonstrator when they tried to strip the National Assembly of its powers in April.

The government enacted a harsh crackdown on protests that has left more than 100 Venezuelans dead.

The political opposition is boycotting Sunday's vote.

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Citizens can live an entire virtual-reality life inside the OASIS , complete with schools and currency. The director began hiring artists to work on the movie.

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