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Relatives of US Embassy staff ordered to leave Venezuela

Relatives of US Embassy staff ordered to leave Venezuela

The death toll from almost four months of anti-government protests climbed Friday to at least 113 as Venezuela's opposition called on backers to defy a protest ban ahead of a vote to begin a rewrite of the constitution.

On Wednesday, July 26, the United States government imposed sanctions on 13 officials in Nicolás Maduro's regime.

"This constituent assembly is of a spurious origin and, therefore, we can not recognize its [election] results", Santos said at a university in Barranquilla, as quoted by the presidential office.

Government supporters clash with members of Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela July 5, 2017.

Maduro called the U.S. punishment "illegal, insolent and unprecedented". "The government of the world?" he said in a speech. "No more dictatorship. Maduro, resign" during a protest against the socialist government in Caracas on May 2.

The opposition, which calls the election of the body a ploy by an unpopular "dictator" to cling to power, has called for a boycott of the vote.

The hardening political struggle has deepened fears that months of street violence could worsen.

But he has not explained what should be changed from the current constitution, nor what specific reforms would put an end to Venezuela's political and economic crisis. He has repeated that the election will go ahead, protected by the military. "To be safe, we prefer to cross". "We remain focused on maintaining our operations in the market, where we have proudly operated for more than 85 years", a spokesperson for Mondelez International (MDLZ) told FOX Business.

Now Venezuela's crisis is getting even worse. "I think I'll strike for 48 hours", said one Caracas resident, Maria Auxiliadora.

More than 100 people have died since April in street protests across Venezuela, which began after Mr. "What unifies us today in this cause isn't interference in another country's affairs, but support for its people", he said. "This is the backdrop, and this is why the constituent assembly is being posed as one of the ways to break this deadlock and move forward".

Venezuelan leaders, in turn, have accused Rubio and the Central Intelligence Agency of trying to topple Venezuela's government to put their own leaders with USA interests in charge of the country.

The United Nations has expressed concern about the risk of further violence in Venezuela.

But Maduro called for the constitutional revisions, and with pro-Maduro candidates running for numerous seats, including former ministers in his government, the body is likely to favor him.

The president's attorney general, Luisa Ortega, has also broken ranks with the government over the issue and become a vociferous opponent. Inflation is expected to jump 720 percent and unemployment to reach 28 percent this year, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund.

The previous year for which official inflation data is available from the central bank is 2015, when consumer prices rose 181 percent.

The opposition says the government is so afraid of low turnout that it's threatening to fire state workers who don't vote, and take away social benefits like subsidized food from recipients who stay away from the polls. He did not elaborate on why he wished the opposition to adhere to a constitution he has decreed should no longer be in vigor and did not mention the failure of the year-long "dialogue" throughout 2016, which allowed Maduro to amass the power necessary for this week's vote.

Three of the "shadow" judges have been arrested in the past few days by Venezuelan intelligence officials.

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