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Venezuela heads for point of no return, U.S. orders diplomats' families to leave

NYT/Meredith Kohut

Signs of initial stirrings of an urban guerrilla movement. The U.S. has been urging Maduro to cancel the vote vote that would allow him to rewrite the constitution.

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON
Petroleumworld 07 28 2017

Venezuela is barreling toward a point of no return.

Despite food shortages and increasingly violent protests, President Nicolas Maduro is closing in on a vote that would allow him to rewrite the constitution and effectively end 59 years of modern democracy.

Barring a last-minute compromise, voters on Sunday will select 545 delegates -- including students, pensioners and workers -- for a constitutional convention. The opposition has boycotted the proceedings, essentially guaranteeing Maduro control.

The so-called constituyente has no set term and supersedes the national assembly, which has been a bulwark against Maduro's autocratic government.

With the country roiled by a strike and state media bombarding voters with propaganda, the U.S. sanctioned 13 officials yesterday, including the interior minister, and threatened more punitive measures.

Some analysts contend that the constituyente is a negotiating tactic, while others say Maduro will use the body to delay indefinitely elections he can't win. That raises the specter of a Cuba-style regime ruling OPEC's sixth-largest crude producer at the very heart of the Americas. Story by Vivianne Rodrigues and Andrew J Barden from Bloomberg.

U.S. Orders diplomats' families to leave Venezuelan capital

First story by Vivianne Rodrigues and Andrew J Barden of Bloomberg; 2do story by Josh Lederman from Associated Press (AP) .

bloomberg
.com / AP
07 27 2017

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