CARACAS, Venezuela—A recent tussle between Maduro loyalists and the U.S.-backed opposition for control of Venezuela’s National Assembly descended into a melee of competing claims that left neither side with clear authority over the assembly.

Behind the messy scramble, energy consultants and diplomats say, is a government attempt to ensure its long-term survival by bringing in Russian, Chinese and other investors to revive the country’s collapsing crude production.

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