President Donald Trump said he was not ruling out “a military option” Friday for the United States’ involvement in Venezuela’s ongoing government power struggle, which has led to widespread, and at times, violent demonstrations within the country.
Maduro earlier accused Trump of backing a failed attack on a military base that killed two people in Valencia a week ago.
Delegates are likely to issue a statement condemning the Trump administration’s new sanctions on several of its delegates.
But the United States and major Latin American nations allege that Maduro is using the body as a tool to quash dissent, by clamping down on the opposition and the legislature it controls.
“Mr Donald Trump, here is my hand”, the president said, adding that he wanted as strong a relationship with the U.S. as he has with Russian Federation.
But even as the list of targeted individuals has grown longer, promised economic sanctions have yet to materialize amid an outcry by US oil companies over the likelihood that a potential ban on petroleum imports from Venezuela – the third-largest supplier to the USA – would hurt U.S.jobs and drive up gas costs.
However, Maduro, himself a tough critic of Trump, reached out to Trump Thursday during his first address to the new constituent assembly, and asked to meet with the president next month, when they are both due to attend that UN General Assembly in NY.
Still, the 59-year-old said she remained in hiding, moving between safe houses at least once a day, because she feared being arbitrarily thrown in jail amid an increasing breakdown of due process under Maduro.
“Is this the peace that Maduro is talking about?” asked Gerardo Blyde, the mayor of Baruta, a nearby municipality who is also under investigation.
The European Union, meanwhile, announced its 28 member states would not recognize the Constituyente after a meeting in Brussels where participants nevertheless avoided debating the issue of slapping “targeted” sanctions against those deemed responsible for the crisis in Venezuela.
Smolansky’s sentencing came just days after the supreme court sentenced the mayor of the Caracas muncipality of Chacao, Ramon Muchacho, also for 15 months in prison, for failing to prevent street protest in his district.
“Oil and gas producer Rosneft has already delivered about $6 billion in advance disbursements to the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and has no immediate plans to make further payments to the company”, the news agency reported. The country’s bonds are one of the few ways the current government is able to raise money to support its collapsing economy.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.