USA imposes sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court

20 May, 2017, 10:19 | Author: Valerie Burke

The Trump administration will take further action against "bad actors" in Venezuela if there are no changes in the country, a senior USA government official said on Thursday.

As protests against the leftist government continued in the capital Caracas, he said his passport had been seized at the airport and would not be returned until 2020. More than 40 people have been killed in sometimes violent protests.

While Venezuelan leaders have lashed out at USA presidents frequently in the past, Maduro had largely been careful not to antagonize Trump.

Speaking alongside Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Thursday, Trump expressed dismay at Venezuela's crisis, asking how a country holding the nation's largest oil reserves could be stricken by so much poverty and turmoil.

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano). Security forces fire tear gas at anti-government protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

"It is really in a very bad state. like nothing we've seen in quite a long time", Trump said.

Among those sanctioned is Maikel Jose Moreno Perez, president of the Supreme Court.

In a separate Russian-Venezuelan development, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said on Thursday that the Russian oil giant received a stake in Citgo, the USA refining and marketing unit of embattled Venezuelan state company PDVSA, as collateral when the Russian company made pre-payment to the Venezuelan group for oil supplies.

The opposition has accused the government of violently repressing protests by Venezuelans demanding early elections to remove Maduro from power. "I will not be able to attend the meeting with the High Commissioner for Human Rights".

The 32-judge Supreme Court has aided President Maduro in his consolidation of control by dissolving the democratically elected National Assembly and allowing the president to rule by executive authority.

She said the sanctions are proof of "the U.S. authority and leadership in the destabilization of Venezuela".

He added: "And we will do whatever is necessary and we will work together to do whatever is necessary to help with fixing that".

The new administration has sought to forge a united front with Latin American countries to pressure the Venezuela government.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley warned on Wednesday that if the situation was left to escalate it could lead to a major worldwide crisis like in Syria.

"Get your hands out of here", Maduro said to the US president. In February, the United States blacklisted Venezuela n Vice President Tareck El Aissami for alleged links to drug trafficking.

"As President Trump has said, Venezuela is a disaster". The foreign ministers of Latin America are also gathering in two weeks in Washington for a special meeting on the South American nation's troubles.

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