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Venezuela Swears in Constituent Assembly Members

Thousands of Venezuelans joined newly-elected members of the National Constituent Assembly for the official appointment ceremony.

Five days after the nation voted, the elected members of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly, ANC, were appointed on Friday. To celebrate their appointment, thousands of supporters joined a march to the legislative headquarters in Caracas.

As the 545 elected members entered the building at the Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas, supporters joined them holding paintings of independence hero Simon Bolivar and former president Hugo Chavez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution.

During the ceremony, former Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez was unanimously elected as president of the body. Former Venezuelan vice presidents Aristobulo Isturiz and Isais Rodriguez were elected as first and second vice presidents of the body respectively.

"The same bourgeoisie that opposed Chavez's first National Constituent Assembly are today trying to silence the voices of the people in support of this one," Rodriguez said.

"The National Constituent Assembly breaks with the dark past of the fascist right."

The body's first act on Saturday will be to convene a Truth Commission to investigate the deaths that occured during the violent protests called by the right-wing opposition that sought to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from office.

Rodriguez also said the legislative body will promote a peaceful dialogue with the opposition to reach the end of the political conflict, and asked their leaders to cease any calls for violence.

“The Venezuelan people will not turn their fate to a violent minority,” Rodriguez said. “We've come to deepen our Constitution”.

More than eight million people chose their representatives from 6,120 candidates in last weekend's poll. Maduro said the ANC will consolidate peace and unity in the country, adding that the final preparations are underway.

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