Questions about the Venezuelan army's support for President Nicolás Maduro are gaining urgency, after a video posted to social media showed a group of armed men in military uniform claiming to be staging a rebellion against a "murderous tyranny" Sunday.
In the video, a man identifying himself as Capt Juan Caguaripano said that any unit refusing to go along with its call for rebellion would be targeted by them. Solo le pido a Dios que lo proteja a él y a quienes lo siguen.
More than 100 people have died in clashes between security forces, and protesters and more than 500 people have been detained, reports the AP.
"He returned to Venezuela to lead Sunday's uprising, said Giomar Flores, a mutinous naval officer who said he is a spokesman for the group from Bogota, Colombia".
Another high-profile dissident, Antonio Ledezma, 62, was released back to house arrest Friday after being hauled away the same day as Lopez. Many human rights groups considered him a political prisoner.
The new Constituent Assembly, packed with Maduro allies including the president's wife and son, has quickly used its supreme powers to clamp down on dissent.
Former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez was elected President of the Constituent Assembly. Others said they heard the sound of loud patriotic singing at the military base.
Ortega, a longtime loyalist who broke with the socialist government in April, refused to recognize the decision and vowed to continue defending the rights of Venezuelans from Maduro's "coup" against the constitution "with my last breath".
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Brazil is criticizing the removal of Venezuela's chief prosecutor by a newly installed constitutional assembly with almost unlimited authority to govern.
"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.
Ortega has been replaced by Ombudsman Tarek Williman Saab, who was recently sanctioned by the U.S. for failing to protect protesters from abuses in his role as the nation's top human rights official.
He accused his Argentine counterpart, Mauricio Macri, of trying to impose a "blockade" on Venezuela and US President Donald Trump of wanting to grab the country's vast oil reserves.
"Venezuela is a divided country, it is a polarized country, and it will require a lot of vision and a lot of global support to sit down and have a dialogue that can find a solution", said Socorro.
It also has the power to dissolve the opposition-controlled National Assembly.
"One hand, one political party" has taken total control through "an undemocratic mechanism that is utterly dictatorial", the leader of the opposition-controlled legislature, Julio Borges, told reporters on Saturday.
While members of congress say they will only be removed by force, the opposition is struggling to regain its footing in the face of the government's strong-arm tactics and the re-emergence of old, internal divisions.