Venezuela's chief prosecutor, a leading critic of President Nicolás Maduro, is ousted

Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz

Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz

Military troops quickly put down an attack at an army base in Venezuela on Sunday, clashing with a group that said it was out to "re-establish the constitutional order", but was dismissed by officials as a band of civilians working with a deserted lieutenant and a former officer.

07 de agosto de 2017, 09:06Caracas, Aug 7 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro denounced the complicity of the US and Colombia in the terrorist attack launched against Paramacay Fort, which was neutralized by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces (Fanb in Spanish).

Since April more than 120 people have been killed in unrest as rock-throwing protesters were met by state security forces firing rubber bullets and water cannon.

Venezuela's opposition has repeatedly urged the military to abandon Mr Maduro.

In his weekly televised show, the unpopular socialist leader condemned the attackers as "mercenaries".

"We are united now, more than ever, with the fearless people of Venezuela who do not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro's murderous tyranny", said a man claiming to be Captain Juan Caguaripano of the National Guard, who deserted in 2014.

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The raid ended with two of the attackers killed and eight captured, Maduro said on state television.

In the recording, a man who identified himself as Captain Juan Caguaripano said they were members of the military who oppose Maduro's socialist government and called on military units to rebel against the government.

"This action was carried out by a group of civilian criminals carrying military garments and a first lieutenant in a situation of desertion".

So far the rest of the country appears to be remaining calm, if tense.

Last week, Venezuela elected a 545-member legislative superbody that Maduro calls Venezuela's only hope for restoring peace. The opposition calls it a naked power grab aimed at keeping the president in office despite low approval ratings.

It was a turbulent first weekend for the increasingly fractured nation under the new authority.

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The attack capped an already tense weekend during which a new constitutional assembly that will rule with almost unlimited powers voted to remove chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz.

The crisis has turned attention to the role of the military, with some ordinary soldiers increasingly tired of the popular backlash against their role in suppressing protests. Perez, who also failed to spark a larger movement, is still in hiding. "I can not classify it in any other way, it is a terrorist attack against the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the Armed Forces has reacted in a united way, with morality, with decisiveness".

The assembly has the power to rewrite the country's constitution and over-ride its congress.

The constitutional assembly is expected to meet again Tuesday, while lawmakers in the opposition-controlled National Assembly scheduled their own session for Monday, vowing to continue fulfilling their responsibilities no matter what the assembly might do. However, during the attack the men released a video claiming they were soldiers from the 41st Brigade of Fort Paramacay.

The other issue is that the imposition of sanctions against Venezuelan oil, the main economic lever at hand for USA imperialism, would be a two-edged sword.

Maduro's mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, burst onto the national scene by leading a 1992 coup attempt, for which he served time in jail before winning the presidency six years later. If not, the end game of socialism will be on full display for the world to see.

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But the military leadership has continued to publicly profess loyalty to the president and his government.

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