Venezuela constitutional assembly removes chief prosecutor

World Today

VENEZUELA-CRISIS-SAABVenezuelan new Attorney General Tarek William Saab (C) is seen during his swearing in ceremony before the Constituent Assembly in Caracas on August 5, 2017. The powerful Constituent Assembly dismissed on Saturday Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega, one of President Nicolas Maduro’s most vocal critics. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO

Venezuela’s constitutional assembly has sworn in a government loyalist to replace the ousted Luisa Ortega as the nation’s chief prosecutor.

Tarek William Saab immediately vowed to protect the rights of Venezuelans amid what he said were “historic circumstances” marked by external threats faced by everyone “from the head of state to the most modest of Venezuelans.”

Saab had been serving as Venezuela’s Ombudsman, charged with protecting the rights of Venezuelans.

CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas, via Skype.

But he was sanctioned last month by the Trump administration for allegedly failing to carry out his duties amid a crackdown on anti-government protesters that has left dozens dead and hundreds more jailed.

Saab is considered one of President Maduro’s most staunch supporters.

He has remained loyal even in the face of familial strife after his son, at the start of the protest movement, released a video calling on his father to abandon the government and put himself on the right side of history.

Story by The Associated Press

Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Dany Bahar, a Fellow at the Brookings Institution, discuss the latest developments in Venezuela.