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>> Washington, hitting eight Venezuelan officials with new sanctions Wednesday for their role in creating a controversial, legislative super body, loyal to socialist president Nicolas Maduro. The sanctions target security officials and politicians, but stop short of going after Venezuela's vital oil energy. But, U.S. officials say, sanctions on the country's lucrative Energy sector are still being considered.
The move comes just days after the swearing in of a powerful constituent assembly made up of political allies of President Maduro who can rewrite Venezuela's constitution and cement his ruling party's leadership into the future. Maduro Says the new assembly will bring peace and prosperity back to Venezuela. Opposition leaders joined by a host of foreign governments fear the new assembly's power are paving the way for a Madura-led dictatorship.
The assembly's first act, firing the country's chief prosecutor who is critical of human rights abuses.
The Supreme Court also stepping up its prosecution efforts against a politician turned fugitive from the opposition, Ramon Muchacho, seen here in a video shared on social media. Urging for more anti-government protests.
rred by anti-government unrest since April that have left more than 125 people dead, Medoro's popularity has taken a beating as the country faces triple-digit inflation and massive food and medical shortages.