By Eliott Rodriguez

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The crisis in Venezuela has reached a new level.

Embattled President Nicolas Maduro wants to scrap the existing government and basically start all over again with a new national assembly and a new constitution.

Maduro made the announcement as thousands of government supporters marked May Day with a massive march in Caracas. They held signs of their late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

They heard Maduro explain Venezuela needs a new constitution to prevent a coup by opposition groups who have taken to the streets practically every day.

Maduro called for a Citizens Congress, a popular assembly that would re-write the constitution and prevent a civil war.

Maduro said the new legislative body would be controlled by workers not political parties.

Opposition groups now control the national assembly, which was annulled by the Maduro backed Supreme Court, leaving Venezuela in a state of chaos.

The oil-rich country is in an economic crisis that’s seen skyrocketing inflation and food shortages affecting thousands.

Opposition groups have called Maduro’s call for a new national assembly and constitution another sign he is a dictator intent on holding on to power at all costs.

Calling for a new assembly and constitution is not new in Venezuela.

Former President Chavez did the same thing in 1999. It was move that kept him in power for another 14 years.

Eliott Rodriguez