CARACAS, July 25 (Reuters) – Two more people named to an alternative Supreme Court in defiance of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government were arrested on Wednesday by intelligence agents during a fast-escalating political showdown, the opposition said. Jesus Rojas and Zuleima Gonzalez were seized in central Anzoategui state, after another appointee Angel Zerpa’s arrest at the weekend, the opposition-led National Assembly said.
Venezuela’s majority-backed opposition is demanding Maduro abandon a Sunday election to create a controversial congress with powers to rewrite the country’s constitution and override all other institutions.
Foes say that will institutionalize dictatorship by the ruling Socialist Party. But Maduro insists it is the only way to empower the people and bring peace after four months of anti-government unrest that have killed more than 100 people.
“The Constituent Assembly will be a blank check for the executive to decide everything,” state prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who has broken with Maduro this year, told a local paper. …