Venezuela's Maduro affirms new legislative body as all powerful

A woman walks past graffiti in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he would like to have a bilateral discussion with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, although in the past he accused him of trying to remove him from power and ridiculed the sanctions imposed by the US.

Maduro said he had also given orders, "if it can happen", for a face-to-face meeting to be organised with Trump when heads of state and government from around the world gather in NY on September 20.

"If he (Trump) is so interested in Venezuela, here I am", he said in his three-hour address to the 545 member assembly.

"Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand", the socialist president said, adding that he wants as strong a relationship with the USA as he has with Russian Federation.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, flanked by his wife Cilia Flores, left, and Constitutional Assembly President Delay Rodriguez, arrive to the National Assembly building to attend a special session of the constitutional assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017.

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As the economic and political situation deteriorates in the Latin American country, with close to 130 people killed in anti-regime protests, worldwide condemnation of the leftist government of Caracas has increased, with the United States slapping Maduro himself with direct sanctions.

"It's entirely conceivable that, if the Constituyente generates further chaos and repression, the Maduro government could lose even more friends", says Shifter.

Both Smolansky and Muchacho have also been barred from holding public office.

The developments fuelled tensions that have been flaring in Venezuela for the past four months. More than 120 people have died in the demonstrations.

Protests have lost steam in the past week as security forces have stepped up repression and demonstrators have grown discouraged by the opposition's failure to bring about change. On Thursday a group calling itself The Binary Guardians claimed responsibility for a massive cyberattack that cut mobile telephone service to seven million users.

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National Assembly President Julio Borges, leader of the country's opposition, has sent more than a dozen letters to leading global banks warning them of the risk to their reputations and bottom line if they throw a lifeline to Maduro.

A Goldman spokesperson told CNNMoney Friday that "we do not support the Maduro regime and will not do business with it".

Parliamentarian opposition figure Ramos Allup declared that his party, Democratic Action, would indeed participate in the upcoming local, regional and presidential elections, in effect recognizing the legitimacy of the country's world-class electoral system - the same system that others on the right have maligned as fraudulent in the wake of the ANC elections on July 30.

The assembly, which has been placed over the National Assembly, has been tasked with rewriting the constitution.

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