Lawmakers hold an emergency session at Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)
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Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly voted Tuesday to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for violating democracy, but the socialist government dismissed the move as meaningless.The South American OPEC member's political standoff has worsened since last week's suspension of an opposition push to hold a referendum to try and recall Maduro, 53 .Unlike neighboring Brazil, where Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from the presidency in August, a trial against Maduro is unlikely to gain traction given the government and Supreme Court have declared congress illegitimate.With Venezuela's military a key factor in past power-shifts, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino criticized congress, vowed the armed forces' loyalty to Maduro, and accused foes of seeking a foreign intervention.
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