Venezuela

Trump admin tightens grip on Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting at the National Electoral Council (CNE) where he presented his proposal to set up a National Constituent Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello - RTS150DT
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting at the National Electoral Council (CNE) where he presented his proposal to set up a National Constituent Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello – RTS150DT

The Trump administration turned the screws on the socialist regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday after the Treasury Department imposed a new round of sanctions against the South American nation.

The sanctions, the second round since President Trump took office in January, targeted eight members of that country’s Supreme Court and accused them of usurping the authority of Venezuela’s democratically-elected legislature, which is ruled by a majority of opposition members.

“The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government’s mismanagement and corruption,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a press release.

The sanctions were delivered a day after Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, forced members of the UN Security Council to hold a closed-door meeting on Venezuela, even though several members were against it.

“We are starting to see serious instability in Venezuela,” Haley told reporters.

Maduro’s government has been faced with almost daily protests since his Supreme Court signed an order that stripped the Venezuelan congress of its powers in March of this year. Protesters are fed up with what they say is rampant corruption, spiraling inflation, food and medical shortages and a president who is refusing their calls for new elections.

Haley said that some of her council colleagues felt Venezuela should be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council. While sympathetic to the idea, she reminded members that Venezuela is a member of the UN rights body and has blocked any talk of…

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