USA orders sanctions on Venezuela, calls for release of political prisoners

USA orders sanctions on Venezuela, calls for release of political prisoners

On August 11, US President Donald Trump sent shockwaves through Venezuela's political establishment when he announced that "a military option is certainly something we could pursue" to end the South American nation's crisis.

Maduro says the violence and the economic crisis are a US-backed conspiracy. "No military actions are anticipated in the near future", said National Security Advisor HR McMaster on Friday.

'I hope that we won't experience such barbarity in our time, ' the minister said.

Speaking from Macarao National Park, in the western state of Miranda, Padrino said "from this observation post (and) accompanied by all of my fellow soldiers. on Sunday we officially begin this drill", Xinhua reported.

Rodríguez said the sanctions Trump signed via executive order on Friday would lead the country "to a cessation of worldwide payments" and "sharpen economic aggression against the Venezuelan people".

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Elected in 2013, Maduro, the political heir to the late Hugo Chavez, ruled against a backlash of a severe economic crisis.

His grip is largely thanks to the support of the military, which holds vast powers in his government, including over food distribution.

But tension surged again when the White House on Friday unveiled its first-ever sanctions to target Venezuela as a whole, rather than just Maduro and his inner circle.

The opposition has repeatedly called on the army to abandon Maduro but so far he has faced only low-level dissent. "They ratify an imperial road of aggression".

On Thursday, the president issued a stern warning to the armed forces not to break ranks.

U.S. trying to promote crisis in Venezuela - foreign minister
The order also limits the trading of some existing bonds that are owned by Venezuela's public sector. Earlier this month, that body declared its powers superior to all other branches of government.

"Never before has Venezuela been threatened in such a way". Trump has already signed an order that prohibits Americans to deal new debt from the Venezuelan government. The new decree prohibits transactions with the government of the country and its state oil company.

They also restrict PDVSA's US subsidiary, Citgo, from sending dividends back to Venezuela - a move that Maduro said would lead to the "virtual closure" of a company responsible for thousands of American jobs.

Venezuela was gripped by months of anti-government protests over growing anger against Maduro.

American lawmakers have called it a big problem for USA national security and sent a warning letter to President Donald Trump.

He singled out the president of Venezuela's congress, Julio Borges, as being the "mastermind" of the financial and economic "blockade" and called on the government-stacked supreme court and a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly to initiate proceedings against opponents who have lobbied in favor of the sanctions.

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