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Trump says he won't rule out military option in Venezuela

12 Agosto 2017, 05:47 | Bibiana Flor

Trump says he won't rule out military option in Venezuela

U.S. President Donald Trump alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that he was considering options involving the U.S. military as a response to the escalating political crisis in Venezuela

The constituent assembly approved a decree August 8 that it will control all the branches of the Venezuelan government. But with his government being accused by many with violating his own people's human rights, the chances of that happening are pretty low at this point.

Opposition leaders decried both rulings, calling them part of an ongoing campaign by the high court to illegally remove anti-government mayors from their elected posts.

The move comes several weeks after the asset-management business of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was criticized by opposition groups in Venezuela.

"The Vice President's trip will highlight the divide between the past and present of Latin America", said Jarrod Agen, a Pence spokesman, in a statement sent before Trump's comments. She fled on the back of a motorbike before being fired formally by the pro-government constituent assembly on its first day of work.

"When in history have you seen a government try to sanction an individual for peacefully organizing an election?" he asked.

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.

The sanctions, unveiled on Wednesday, will freeze USA assets of the officials targeted, ban them from travel to the United States and prohibit Americans from doing business with them. Among those named was constituent assembly member Adan Chavez, brother of the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

The U.S., the European Union, a number of Latin American countries and others around the globe have condemned the assembly, and the Vatican last week called for its suspension, all of which Maduro no doubt laughed off because now he basically controls the country. Still, Venezuela is facing mounting pressure and threats of deepening sanctions from trade partners.

Thus far, Washington has stopped short of hitting the Venezuelan energy sector with sanctions. Citing the resentment stirred in Latin America by the long US history of military interventions in the region, General H.R. McMaster said he didn't want to give Maduro any ammunition to blame the "Yankees" for the "tragedy" that has befallen the oil-rich nation. More than 120 people have died in the demonstrations. For years, Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, have accused the US of interfering in their country's democracy and attempting to overthrow their leadership.

Cuban President Raul Castro expressed today his "immense revolutionary jubilation" over the results of the past elections to the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela, local media reported.

At the same time, the constitutional assembly yesterday said it would debate a proposal to push up to October elections for governors in all of Venezuela's states. Laws passed by the new body will not need approval from Venezuela's traditional congress, which met on Wednesday to discuss the region's response to the new body.

Venezuela's ousted chief prosecutor said yesterday she fears for her life and is on the run, but will keep fighting for democracy and freedom in the country after being fired by a controversial new legislative superbody.



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