'Terrorist attack' on military base in Venezuela foiled

New Venezuela assembly begins

Delcy Rodriguez takes te oath as member of the Constituent Assembly during its installation at the National Congress in Caracas

Another high-profile dissident, 62-year-old Antonio Ledezma was released back to house arrest Friday after being hauled away the same day as Lopez.

A prominent Venezuelan opposition leader has been returned to his home after spending several days jailed.

The supreme Court of justice (TSJ), which has been accused by the opposition to be subservient to the power, announced later that Mrs. Ortega would be considered for "irregularities".

Still, the episode highlights how volatile Venezuela is after four months of sustained anti-government protests over what foes call a lurch into dictatorship in the midst of a bruising economic crisis.

Here are some key facts about the Venezuelan military, formally the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, or FANB.

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The person says bursts of gunfire could be heard coming from the base in the central city of Valencia starting around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. They say it could re-write the constitution, re-arrange state institutions and allow socialist President Nicolas Maduro to rule by decree.

The opposition, which controls the legislature, has become sidelined.

One analyst, Luis Salamanca, said the new assembly "is being born badly, but Maduro doesn't care".

The Venezuelan leader also slammed Mexico, Chile and Peru as American vassals for saying they would not recognize the new assembly.

Venezuela has become increasingly isolated internationally as President Nicolas Maduro has tightened his hold on power through a contested loyalist assembly that started work this week, with the backing of the military.

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Authorities said the men were mercenaries working for a USA -backed opposition to bring down almost two decades of Socialism in oil-rich Venezuela, raising the specter of a further government crackdown on dissent in coming days.

Venezuela's armed forces issued a statement calling the rebellion an ill-fated "propaganda show" aimed at destabilizing the country and reaffirmed their allegiance to Maduro.

The Vatican statement called for a negotiated solution following the same guidelines the Vatican set out previous year when it brokered talks between the government and the opposition which later broke down. "Hide the evidence of corruption and human rights violations in Venezuela", Ortega told reporters.

Backing opposition allegations of fraud, Smartmatic, a British-based company involved in the vote technology behind the election last Sunday, said the official turnout figure had been tampered with and exaggerated by at least a million voters.

A television channel, a bank, an auto-assembly plant and a construction group - these are some of the businesses controlled by the Venezuelan military, joining the Military Mining, Gas and Petroleum Company known as Camimpeg. The United States and the European Union called the vote "illegal".

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