Venezuela Socialist Party official says "irregular situation" controlled

Members of Venezuela

The powerful military in riot-torn Venezuela has sworn "unconditional loyalty" to the leftist government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

One of those - Leopoldo Lopez - was returned to house arrest on Saturday - after being detained in military prison for four days.

One person has died and one person has been badly injured.

"These attacks, planned by delirious minds in Miami, only strengthen the morale of our armed forces and the Bolivarian people", tweeted Socialist Party official Elias Jaua.

Gunshots were heard in the area during the night, Reuters reported, citing a witness in the area of the military base in the town of Naguanagua.

They also fear persecution should the opposition take over.

The military's capabilities - and its loyalty under duress - are core concerns at a time when its leaders have claimed that a "paramilitary" force led by a deserter and backed by "foreign governments" has attacked a military base in what might be seen as an incipient coup attempt.

The South American nation has for months been in the throes of a political crisis with protests that have left more than 100 dead, almost 2,000 wounded and over 500 detained.

Officially installed on Friday, the Constituent assembly has made know Saturday that she would be appointed for a maximum period of two years.

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The constituent assembly quickly moved to dismiss the state prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, a former ally of Maduro's who has recently become his staunchest critic.

Locals said a nighttime curfew had been imposed, as flaming barricades set up in the street by anti-government protesters spewed black smoke. "The only thing it's doing is destroying itself and committing suicide".

In 2006, the United States prohibited the sale or transfer of military arms or technology to Venezuela, whose then-president, Hugo Chavez, had closely allied the country with Russian Federation and China.

The measures adopted expand on previous sanctions against Venezuela, which had been temporarily suspended from the bloc in December.

Ortega's dismissal triggered an global outcry, and she has refused to recognize it.

During his inauguration speech, Delcy Rodriguez, a friend of Mr Maduro, who was nicknamed "the tigress", has firmly rejected such criticism: "for the worldwide community (...) the message is clear, very clear: we, Venezuelans, will solve our conflict, our crisis, without any kind of foreign interference".

"They come walking down the middle of the street barking orders, treating rulers like their maids", Maduro told Argentina's Radio Rebelde in an interview. "Always in peace", Maduro said at a press conference in Caracas. They say it could re-write the constitution, re-arrange state institutions and allow socialist President Nicolas Maduro to rule by decree.

But the opposition, which boycotted last Sunday's vote, views it as a way for Maduro to hold onto power.

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