Venezuela's military: Key things to know

Venezuela's military: Key things to know

Venezuelan authorities suppressed a small rebellion at a military base near the city of Valencia on Sunday, arresting seven men who they say participated in a "terrorist attack" against the government of unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

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.

Some saw his return home as a sign Venezuelan officials may be rethinking the crackdown, even as the new, all-powerful constitutional assembly ousted the defiant chief prosecutor. Padrino is a sort of "superminister", to whom other cabinet members must report, Maduro said a year ago.

In a video released earlier on Sunday, a man who identified himself as Juan Carlos Caguaripano, a former National Guard captain, said: "We demand the immediate formation of a transition government".

"This is not a coup d'etat", he said.

In a video purportedly shot in city of Valencia, 16 men calling themselves the 41st Brigade declared a "civil-military action to restore the constitutional order".

She alleged that authorities were desperate to get their hands on dossiers containing information on dirty dealings by high-level officials, including sensitive details about millions of dollars in bribes paid by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Also yesterday the new assembly loyal to the embattled Maduro fired the country's attorney general, Luisa Ortega, one of the president's most vociferous critics, sparking a firestorm of condemnation from the USA and Latin American nations.

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Oil-rich but economically ailing Venezuela has a long history of instability.

The country has been divided since former president Hugo Chavez died in 2013.

In the latest twist in the slow-motion crisis, Venezuela's chief prosecutor was sacked on Saturday and ordered to stand trial, less than 24 hours after a newly elected legislative superbody was installed with sweeping powers to strengthen President Nicolas Maduro's grip on power.

But the military leadership continues to publicly profess loyalty to the president and his government. Military intervention is not the means to an end for it would prolong the dispute between Venezuela's government and opposition.

Discontent is higher among lower-tier officials, who are often sent to control rowdy protests and are paid just a few dozen US dollars a month.

In its first act on Saturday, August 5, the body, the Constituent Assembly, ordered the dismissal of the country's attorney general, Luisa Ortega, who became a vociferous critic after breaking ranks with Maduro.

The election of the Constituent assembly has been marred by violence that has left ten dead, while already more than 120 people have been killed in four months of anti-government protests.

It also has the power to dissolve the opposition-controlled National Assembly. When Ortega arrived for work Saturday morning, she was barred from entering.

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