Maduro censures new U.S. sanctions on Venezuela as 'illegal'

Geneva Matthews
July 28, 2017

The opposition has ramped up its protest activity in the run-up to the election of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), scheduled for July 30, announcing a week of protests and launching a two-day nationwide strike that kicked off on Wednesday.

The Venezuelan prosecutor's office said on Thursday that a 23-year-old man was killed in western Merida state and a 16-year-old boy died in the poor Caracas neighbourhood of Petare during clashes on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Telesur, a television network sponsored by several Latin American governments including Venezuela, reported that thousands of Maduro supporters rallied across the country on Wednesday in support of the election. The deaths raised to 105 the number of people killed since April 1 in clashes with security forces.

The sanctions target 13 current or former officials from Maduro's government, freezing their US assets and preventing Americans from doing business with them, the AP reports.

Adversaries say the ruling Socialist Party wants to consolidate dictatorship with Sunday's vote.

He called the sanctions "illegal, insolent, and unprecedented".

Maduro said his government does not "recognize any sanctions", adding that the officials singled out by Washington were "brave Venezuelans" who would instead be recognized for their service to the country. "The government of the world?" he said.

Corbyn reportedly referred to Benn during the interview, telling Maduro he had been "a leader in the struggle against the economic policies of the European Bank and others, which were detrimental to the poor of Britain and other countries".

Venezuela's opposition has claimed 92% support for the national strike that it has called.

In the capital, Caracas buses are not running and blockades have made it impossible for cars to move inside most of the city barricades made from garbage, tree branches and furniture.

He can count on the Venezuelan military, which has declared loyalty to him.

Polling firm Datanalisis says some 70 percent of Venezuelans are opposed to the Constituent Assembly.

A planned protest march Friday in the capital, Caracas, will follow the 48-hour walkout.

"We need a channel of humanitarian aid since our patients are dying of the most basic diseases", Dr. Rebeca Sau in Venezuela said. "To be safe, we prefer to cross".

Ordinary Venezuelans remaining in their country believe ousting Maduro is their only hope for survival.

He warned that anybody elected to the Constituent Assembly could also be slapped with USA sanctions.

A senior Trump administration official said the individuals targeted include high-ranking current and former officials connected to the Maduro regime, including two Cabinet ministers, the national elections director, the vice president of finance for state-run oil company PDVSA, and the country's army and police chiefs, among others. The main business guild Fedecamaras also backed the opposition, issuing a statement on Tuesday that called the coming weekend vote "unconstitutional and unnecessary".

At the same time, Maduro's administration is being squeezed by the long-running economic crisis.

Inflation is projected to top 720 per cent. The meeting at the house of Leopoldo Lopez, a prominent opposition leader recently granted house arrest after three years in jail, sparked rumors of a possible behind the scenes negotiation of Venezuela's crisis.

Colombia's flagship airline is suspending all flights to neighboring Venezuela, citing security concerns.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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