Venezuelan police block access to opposition-led congress

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan security forces have deployed around the opposition-controlled congress, which says access to the building has been blocked ahead of a planned debate there.

Masked agents of Venezuela’s police intelligence agency as well as National Guard troops stood around the perimeter of the National Assembly building on Tuesday morning.

The congress posted videos on social media of several of its members criticizing the police deployment as they stood outside the building.

Opposition lawmaker Biagio Pilieri says police entered the assembly grounds, allegedly to look for suspected explosives.

The National Assembly has come under increasing pressure from President Nicolás Maduro since the opposition appealed in vain for a military uprising on April 30. The assembly’s vice president, Edgar Zambrano, was arrested May 8 for alleged treason.