May 2, 2017 / 6:31 PM / in 3 months

U.S. has deep concerns about Maduro's power shakeup - official

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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a document as he speaks during a ceremony at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela May 1, 2017. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday criticized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's intent to create a new super-body known as a "constituent assembly," saying it was an attempt to cling to power.

"We have deep concerns about the motivation for this constituent assembly which overrides the will of the Venezuelan people and further erodes Venezuelan democracy," said Michael Fitzpatrick, the deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western hemisphere, in a phone call with reporters. "What President Maduro is trying to do yet again is change the rules of the game" in an effort to remain in power.

Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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