Venezuela UN diplomat calls on Maduro to resign — The Latest

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro fist bumps a worker of the state-run oil company PDVSA during a visit to the Orinoco oil belt in Venezuela in 2013. Miraflores Presidential Office  AP  File

The President's lawyers are looking into whether Trump can pardon himself, family members, and aides in preparation for the outcome of the Russia investigation. The opposition is boycotting the July 30 vote which has complicated rules seemingly designed to guarantee a government majority despite its minority popular support.

At least 97 have been killed in more than three months of political upheaval jolting the South American nation.

"We're not backing down, Venezuela will have a Supreme Court of Justice and institutions at the service of the people and not at the service of whatever government is in power", said opposition legislator Carlos Berrizbeitia during the ceremony, where the appointed justices were applauded and cheered on with shouts of "Bravo!"

The authenticity of the letter and video could not be independently confirmed, but the footage is consistent with prior photos of Medina.

Venezuela's government intimidates and restricts the media in Venezuela, taking CNN en Español off the air.

In a statement broadcast on state television later on Friday, the Supreme Court blasted the alternative judges who were named by the legislature. Protesters across Caracas set up roadblocks of tree branches and tires to protest Maduro's plans to change the constitution. But I am loath to continue commenting on Venezuela's in similar fashion, especially given that my commentaries did nothing to alter Zimbabwe's death spiral.

A senior diplomat representing Venezuela at the United Nations has resigned to protest President Nicolas Maduro's repression of demonstrations against his government.

The court's constitutional chamber voided eight laws passed by the National Assembly between January and October 2016, after just one such ruling in the previous 200 years, legal experts say.

An official statement from Mexico said that suspending the vote would "open the door for a negotiation that could resolve the democratic crisis Venezuela is facing", whereas going forward with it would deepen divisions in the country.

The Venezuelan opposition launched a nationwide strike on Thursday which turned into sporadic violence in the capital, killing at least two people and injuring at least nine others.

According to a Venezuelan NGO monitoring detentions, Foro Penal, 261 people were arrested during the 24-hour strike.

Earlier in the week, Venezuela announced that it would boycott the Mendoza summit, with the government stating it rejected "the ongoing arbitrary and biased decisions against the rights" of Venezuela. And the death toll may escalate as Maduro vows to go ahead with his plan to convene a Constituent Assembly with hand-picked delegates on July 30 to change the constitution.

Regional pressure is also rising. In South Florida, the epicenter of the Venezuelan community abroad, over one hundred thousand voters participated in Sunday's referendum.

Medina Mejías told CNN en Español he would join the resistance, returning to Venezuela as soon as the paperwork was in place. He added that the military would help make sure "the country can return to how it should be".

"We fill and empty the streets when we choose in protest".

A Venezuelan opposition leader recently interviewed on BBC's Hard Talk admitted that the US was bankrolling the opposition's campaign against the government.

A similar opposition strike call last year had a lukewarm response, amid government threats to seize any closed businesses.

The FBI wiped AlphaBay, an online black market for drugs 10 times bigger than Silk Road. It was the first major national strike since a 2002 stoppage that failed to topple Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

Medina called on Maduro to resign immediately.

The opposition said 85% of the country joined the strike.

No disruptions were expected at oil company PDVSA which brings in about 95 percent of Venezuela's export revenue.

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