According to the government, 8m Venezuelans voted for the assembly, a supra-legislative body that will have the power to suspend other institutions - including the democratically elected and opposition-dominated parliament.
A wave of new asylum-seekers would not be welcome in the current American political climate, said Christopher Reeve Linares, a freelance journalist who has covered Venezuela. He expected re-incarceration: he had recorded a video urging supporters to "fight for" Venezuela, to be released when it happened. He raged on Venezuelan television: "They don't intimidate me".
There's also a fundamental human reason why we should care about what's happening in Venezuela: People there are enduring suffering that would be unimaginable to most of us.
The next set of USA sanctions are likely to first involve designations of more individuals, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Two prominent opposition leaders were hustled off to jail in the middle of the night by armed members of the Venezuelan intelligence services.
Maduro says the assembly's installation has been pushed back to Friday in order to "organize it well in peace and tranquility". The first would start with a ratcheting-up of sanctions by the United States. "The next Venezuelan administration, whenever it arrives, will require sustained and coordinated global support in order to lead Venezuela in the right direction". Now the regime is likely to increase its repression, as the re-arrests of Mr López and Mr Ledezma suggest.
Spain said it would push for European Union sanctions.
Such a staged approach "gives Maduro multiple opportunities to relent", Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners LLC, said in a research note to clients.
"They just took Leopoldo away". "We are here to defend ourselves and not let him destroy our Constitution".
The high commissioner's spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, tells VOA the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared the detention of both Lopez and Ledezma to be arbitrary and says they never should have been arrested. He had been convicted of instigating violence during protests against Maduro in 2014 that left 43 people dead. Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas, was still in his pyjamas when agents forced him into a vehicle.
The opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly said Tuesday they will not recognize "the fraudulent and illegitimate" Constituent Assembly.
The assembly will be granted vast powers to rewrite the nation's constitution and override every branch of the government.
You've seen the news reports: the protests in the streets, the long lines at the stores.
Latin American nations including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru joined the United States in saying they did not recognise the results of Sunday's election, while Brazil, Costa Rica and Panama joined the condemnation of Lopez and Ledezma's arrest. Also, Smartmatic will be asked to audit the Sunday ballot.
The opposition has insisted turnout was closer to 3.5 million, mostly made up of state employees fearful for their jobs.
Whatever the outcome of the July 30 special election, one can reasonably take issue with cynics who downplay the July 16 unofficial referendum as "merely symbolic"-especially when so many people voice their outrage over a dictator's power grab and encourage their compatriots to stand up for a future of liberty".