Venezuela's Maduro Threatens Political Opponents With Jail

Venezuela's Maduro Threatens Political Opponents With JailVenezuela's Maduro Threatens Political Opponents With Jail

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has threatened to jail "anyone who violates the constitution", amid vows by his opponents to launch a trial to remove him from power. The warning came after a day of opposition-led strikes.

After a tense day of standoffs between the government and the opposition coalition, Maduro vowed to imprison his political opponents if they follow through on their political trial against him, AFP reported.

"If they launch a supposed political trial, which is not in our constitution, the state prosecution service must bring legal action in the courts and put in jail anyone who violates the constitution, even if they are members of Congress," Maduro said.

The opposition Democratic Unity coalition had called for a 12-hour strike on Friday as part of its escalating protest against the government. While it was only partially observed, there was less than the usual flow of traffic on the main streets of the capital, Caracas. Shops were also closed.

Maduro went on the offensive on Friday amid a volatile political and economic crisis that has sparked mass unrest across the country. Friday's strike was called after ruling officials blocked a bid by opposition lawmakers to hold a plebiscite on whether to remove Maduro from power. That move led hundreds of demonstrators to take to the streets on Wednesday and the opposition to vow to put Maduro on trial as they reportedly exchanged accusations of "coup-mongering" with the president.

Participation in Friday's strikes was patchy. While streets in the major cities of Caracas, San Cristobal and Maracaibo were reportedly quieter than normal, public transport ran as usual, and some banks and schools remained open.

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