Maduro taps top aides to lead Venezuela constitution rewrite

(Vatican Radio) Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has pledged to hold a referendum on a new constitution he has proposed to try and quell two months of anti-government protests that have killed at least 62 people.

Venezuela is to hold elections forits National Constituent Assembly in late July, while regional elections are scheduled for December.

Carmen Hernandez, a Venezuelan who now lives in Rome, spoke to Vatican Radio about what she been hearing from her country.

More than 60 people have been killed during the unrest.

The sale "provides resources to the regime to purchase instruments of war that will be used to savagely repress the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters demanding free and fair elections and democracy in our country", Borges said in the letter that was addressed to Nomura's chief executive officer, Koji Nagai.

Foreign ministers from across the Western Hemisphere are trying to stave off Venezuela's worsening democratic crisis.

Over the past couple of years the escalating crises in what once was the richest South American country has led to steep deterioration of public health with infectious diseases such as malaria creeping back.

While the right-wing opposition has welcomed Ortega's criticism of the ruling, government supporters responded by protesting outside outside the attorney general's office in Caracas on Friday.

For a month now its streets have been engulfed by mass protests against a power grab by its president Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro, 54 calls them coup-mongers seeking his violent overthrow with US support akin to the short-lived toppling of his predecessor Hugo Chavez in 2002.

The prosecutor criticized the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) in which it endorsed the call for rewriting the constitution, and in which they ruled that a prior consultative referendum is not necessary. Goldman has said its asset-management arm acquired $2.8 billion of the October 2022 bonds issued by PDVSA "on the secondary market from a broker and did not interact with the Venezuelan government". His opponents say he will fill it with his allies.

Maduro has vowed to resolve the crisis by forming a special assembly to rewrite the constitution. She filed a suit with the Venezuelan Constitutional Court.

In New York Wednesday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Maduro's opponents should feel "deeply frustrated" that the US -led plan to intervene in Venezuela's crisis had failed.

In further political drama, the Supreme Court ordered opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Thursday to avoid roadblocks in the Miranda state that he governs, or face jail.

Authorities have already barred Capriles from running for new political posts for 15 years, over allegations of "administrative irregularities" that he denies, potentially hobbling another bid to run in 2018. "Moreover, Venezuela's Vice President, Tareck El Aissami, has been designated a drug "kingpin" by the United States government for his active involvement in drug trafficking".

  • Leroy Wright