In Wake Of 'Sham Election,' US Sanctions Venezuelan President Maduro

Maduro decreed a ban on protests during and after the vote threatening prison terms of up to 10 years for anyone violating the order

The Maduro administration has proceeded with the ANC even though Venezuelans and democratic governments worldwide have overwhelmingly opposed it as a fundamental assault on the freedoms of the Venezuelan people. "We don't know where he is or where they're taking him".

Opposition leaders had called for a boycott of the vote, declaring it rigged for the ruling party.

A video showed Ledezma, dressed in his pajamas, being dragged out of his building by what appeared to be security agents as a woman screamed "They're taking away Ledezma!"

Lopez was detained three years ago after protests against Maduro's government and sentenced to more than a decade in prison on charges that include inciting protesters to violence.

Venezuela has been riven by unrest since the country's Supreme Court, which is packed with Maduro supporters, attempted to dissolve the legislature in late March - and quickly reversed itself just days later after worldwide backlash.

Ledezma was granted house arrest in 2015. That would include Maduro's wife, Cilia Flores, and powerful congressman Diosdado Cabello, as well as lowly socialist party members with no USA finances.

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The president of the opposition-led National Assembly, Julio Borges, told Venezuelan news channel Globovision Monday that Maduro's foes would continue protesting until they won free elections and a change of government. The threats and sanctions from the imperialists don't intimidate me one bit in this world. "I don't listen to orders from the empire, not now or ever. Here are your sanctions at himself, Donald trump!"

"Cuba denounces the initiation of a well-orchestrated global operation, directed in Washington.to silence the voice of the Venezuelan people", the government said in a statement published by state-run media.

For now, the Trump administration has not delivered on threats to sanction Venezuela's oil industry, which could undermine Maduro's government but raise US gas prices and deepen the humanitarian crisis here.

The Trump administration has announced sanctions against President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, in retaliation for the latter's threat against his opposition leaders and the elections which have been denounced by the global community as "illegitimate".

The news of Pineda's death before today's vote was announced Sunday via the Venezuela's Public Ministry's Twitter account.

Mr. Maduro said the newly created constituent assembly would help bring peace to the country.

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Opposition leaders estimated the real turnout at less than half the government's claim in a vote watched by government-allied observers but no internationally recognized poll monitors.

"'Chavismo' has recovered its historical voting level", said Socialist Party heavyweight Jorge Rodriguez in a televised press conference on Monday, adding some 10 million Venezuelans would have voted had the opposition not staged roadblocks on Sunday.

More than 100 people have died in violent protests in Caracas between anti-government activists and riot police. Electoral officials said the turnout was 41.5%.

Maduro has said the new assembly will begin to govern within a week.

The European Union and nations including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Spain, Britain and the United States criticized Sunday's vote.

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