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Venezuela opposition tries luring soldiers away from Maduro

January 15, 2019 GMT
Lawmakers attend a session at the opposition-controlled National Assembly to debate actions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. The president is under heightened pressure from opposition politicians and foreign leaders urging him to step down. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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Lawmakers attend a session at the opposition-controlled National Assembly to debate actions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. The president is under heightened pressure from opposition politicians and foreign leaders urging him to step down. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
1 of 3
Lawmakers attend a session at the opposition-controlled National Assembly to debate actions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. The president is under heightened pressure from opposition politicians and foreign leaders urging him to step down. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela are trying to pry the military’s loyalty away from President Nicolas Maduro, offering protection to members of the armed forces who support a transitional government.

Congress passed a declaration Tuesday declaring Maduro’s rulings invalid and giving amnesty to members of the military who help return Venezuela to democratic rule.

Maduro has cultivated a stronghold within the military even as Venezuela collapses in a historic economic and political crisis.

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Venezuela analyst Diego Moya-Ocampos says the opposition is offering the armed forces incentives to break away rather than continue supporting Maduro.

Maduro was sworn this month in to a second term following elections critics reject as a sham.

The pro-Maduro Supreme Court earlier had ruled that acts of the opposition-dominated congress are invalid.