02:52 GMT06 December 2020
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    Soldiers will be deployed throughout Venezuela next week when the crisis-hit nation votes on a constituent assembly, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In a statement endorsing President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to elect a body that will have the power to rewrite the constitution, he said the vote was legitimate and sought to preserve peace.

    "That’s why soldiers will be deployed throughout the national territory on July 30… to guarantee the full exercise of the right to vote by all Venezuelans," the minister continued.

    He rejected as "nefarious" a threat by US President Donald Trump to impose swift economic sanctions on the South American nation if its government went ahead with the plan to vote on the 545-member assembly, which President Maduro said was a way to end the ongoing political crisis.


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