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Actor says Venezuelan pilot unhappy over crisis

01 July 2017

Luisa Ortega Diaz's office announced the charges against Antonio Benavides Torres a day after the nation's Supreme Court declared it was barring her from leaving Venezuela and ordering her bank accounts frozen.

The twin attack took place as the president was speaking live on state TV and as the Supreme Court was handing down a series of rulings against the opposition. Maduro says the assembly is the only way to bring peace to Venezuela, but opponents say it is a sham vote intended exclusively to keep an unpopular government in power.

Ortega, a Chavez protege, has distanced herself from the current government.

In extraordinary scenes over Caracas around sunset on Tuesday, the stolen helicopter fired shots at the Interior Ministry and dropped grenades on the Supreme Court, both viewed by Venezuela's opposition as bastions of support for a dictator. She filed a lawsuit to the Supreme Court asking to strip immunity from eight justices, followed by three suits against the constituent assembly.

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On a near daily basis, national guardsmen and police have launched tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, some of whom have responded with rocks and firebombs.

Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada complained about the lack of worldwide condemnation of the attack, saying it contrasted with the barrage of foreign criticism of the government.

"There are people who say it was a government-staged hoax, others who say it was real", Borges said in a radio interview.

The figures released by Ortega Diaz's office Thursday indicate police and military officers are responsible for about a quarter of the deaths. He says he doubts suggestions that Perez was part of a government plot to divert attention from President Nicolas Maduro' effort to rewrite the constitution and allow the leader to employ emergency measures.

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A defiant Ortega Diaz said she wouldn't recognize the ruling, which she portrayed as a brazen attempt to eliminate her position as Venezuela's top law enforcement official.

Ortega says the court's magistrates "are giving the power to investigate human rights abuses to people who possibly are violating those rights".

On Tuesday, a helicopter swooped over the Supreme Court and interior ministry, dropping grenades and firing shots; President Nicolás Maduro called it a us -backed coup attempt.

Maduro condemned the incident as an "attempted coup", saying "terrorists" were behind the offensive and that an operation was underway to track down the perpetrators, CNN reported. The move was regarded as a violation of the country's constitution.

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No one was injured, and there was no sign of damage at the buildings.

Oscar Perez is a cop, pilot, action movie star and dog trainer. He claimed to speak on behalf of a coalition of renegade members of the security forces, though there was no indication of a larger military involvement. Previously, Venezuela's Executive Vice President, Tareck El Aissami, confirmed to Venezolana de Television the finding of the aircraft in Osma community, in the northern coastal area of Vargas state and requested the collaboration of local citizens to capture terrorists.

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Actor says Venezuelan pilot unhappy over crisis