Venezuelan leader to Trump: "'Get your pig hands out of here"

Barsaba Taglieri
Mag 20, 2017

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday bashed his USA counterpart Donald Trump, in a speech reported by national radio, telling him to stop meddling in the country's home affairs.

Maduro's opposition has been protesting since April after the Supreme Court ruled to limit the power of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. He served time for murder 30 years ago and was implicated in at least two other murders yet continued to rise in Venezuela's murky security services.

The U.S. imposed new economic sanctions on eight members of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, including its president, Maikel Jose Moreno Perez.

"“By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country", he said.

Speaking in Washington alongside visiting President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Venezuela's neighbor, Trump called the humanitarian situation “a disgrace to humanity” and promised to help fix it, but he offered no new US approach. In February, the US announced it was freezing the assets of Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in global drug trafficking.

"When you look at the oil reserves that they have, when you look at the potential wealth that Venezuela has, you sort of have to wonder, why is that happening?" How is that possible? "And hopefully that will change", said Trump. "Because right now what's happening is really a disgrace to humanity", Trump said after meeting at the White House with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

It is the first time the USA has sanctioned an entire panel of judges.

A senior US official warned of further action against "bad actors" if there are no changes in Venezuela.

Venezuela's Supreme Court has always been filled with government loyalists.

"We are ready, all trade agreements have already been signed and very soon Russian Federation will supply Venezuela with 60,000 tons of wheat per month on a stable basis starting from this year", Maduro said, according to state news agency AVN.

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress in 2016.

Venezuelan justices Friday railed against the latest attempt of the Trump administration to tighten the screws on the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro as the country lurches under extreme poverty, economic collapse and explosive violence.

Moreno, while not directly involved in those decisions, has defended them and from the bench also upheld a almost 14-year sentence for opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez a day after Trump called for his release at a White House meeting with Lopez's wife.

Venezuelan government officials dispute the notion that the country's justice system is politicized.

Ortega Diaz broke with the government shortly after the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in March, calling it a "rupture" of the constitutional order.

The new sanctions come as Maduro is facing increasing pressure at home and overseas to hold elections.

Fresh clashes erupted later in eastern Caracas as Maduro's opponents staged their latest protest marches against him. The protest in Caracas comes after a tumultuous 24 hours of looting and protests in the western state of Tachira that led the government to send in troop reinforcements, and after nearly two months of unrest nationwide in which more than 40 people have been killed.

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