Venezuela to strip immunity from politicians who backed coup bid

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has accepted the uprising failed

A man strikes a pose while driving a motorcycle with his children as passengers in the 23 de Enero neighborhood, Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, May 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Venezuela's Constituent Assembly plans to remove parliamentary immunity from opposition politicians who backed a failed uprising last week, leader Diosdado Cabello said on Sunday.

"The prosecutor's office opened its file," Mr Cabello said.

"All the requests to lift parliamentary immunity are coming to the Constituent Assembly, as it should be, and we will certainly raise our hands to remove parliamentary immunity from all those who actively participated in that act."

On Tuesday, about 30 soldiers rose up against President Nicolas Maduro near La Carlota Air Base in Caracas in a move backed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries.

Several deputies of the National Assembly, in which the opposition holds a majority, backed its leader, Mr Guaido.

He called Tuesday's failed uprising the start of a freedom operation to remove Mr Maduro from power.

"Justice is going to come, there's no doubt about that. Let us not despair," Mr Cabello, Mr Maduro's right-hand man, said during a speech to activists of the ruling party in Caracas.

After the failed uprising, denounced by Mr Maduro as a "coup-style skirmish", about 25 soldiers took refuge at embassies along with top opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez, who was freed from house arrest by supporters of Mr Guaido.

Mr Lopez, who is under an arrest warrant, is staying at the Spanish embassy.

The Venezuelan prosecutor's office requested 18 arrest warrants for civilians and soldiers who took part in the insurrection, chief prosecutor Tarek Saab said on Friday.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, is in Moscow for talks with the Kremlin, which is one of the regime's biggest backers.