The Venezuelan Constituent National Assembly, loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, stripped diplomatic immunity from four lawmakers of the opposition, the assembly said.

“Accepted […] justice is necessary”, the president of the assembly, Diosdado Cabello, said, commenting on the move. In addition, Rafael Guzman was also deprived of immunity due to his alleged involvement in the attempted 30 April coup.

In total, the assembly stripped some 20 deputies of diplomatic immunity.

On Monday, the Venezuelan Supreme Court called upon the assembly to strip Jose Guerra, Tomas Guanipa and Juan Pablo Garcia of immunity, accusing them of treason.

Venezuela has been suffering from an acute political crisis since January when US-backed Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust constitutionally-elected Nicolas Maduro after the latter’s re-election.

The United States and its allies, including many EU nations, swiftly recognized Guaido’s self-nomination, while Russia and China, among others, voiced their support for Maduro as the country’s legitimate president.

Guaido made an attempt to depose Maduro in late April, staging a demonstration in front of the La Carlota military base in Caracas and urging civilians and servicemen to take to the streets. The coup attempt turned violent and reportedly resulted in some 240 people injured, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The attempt “failed completely”, as the Venezuelan government put it. The office of the Venezuelan prosecutor general requested 18 arrest warrants to be issued in connection with the coup attempt.

Maduro has called Guaido a US puppet and accused Washington of orchestrating a coup to force a change of government in Venezuela and claim the country’s vast fossil fuel reserves, said to be the largest in the world.

Since May, the Venezuelan government and opposition have been engaged in talks mediated by the government of Norway.

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