U.S. sanctions Venezuela officials, Trump slams Maduro

U.S. sanctions Venezuela officials, Trump slams Maduro

U.S. sanctions Venezuela officials, Trump slams Maduro

Venezuela jumped back into U.S. crosshairs this week, with a slate of fresh U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on top Venezuelan figures, new Senate legislation aiming to further isolate the Venezuelan regime, and tough talk of even harsher measures from U.S. President Donald Trump at the annual United Nations General Assembly in NY.

The United States has been stepping up pressure on the South American country by imposing a string of sanctions, including ones on Maduro himself and the senior officials.

Despite enormous historical, ideological and social differences, he would be willing to reach out to Trump for talks, Maduro told the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly. Canada, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Peru officially referred Venezuela to the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, on allegations of torture, arbitrary arrests, politically motivated imprisonment, over 8,000 extrajudicial executions, and forced disappearances.

At the same time, the U.S. president says Iran will eventually want to negotiate a deal with him because the country is basically "failing". Venezuela has tried to make up for the crisis in part by borrowing some $50 billion the past decade from China, repaying debt through oil shipments.

The sanctions target a number of people close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, including his wife, vice president, communications minister and defense minister. He called for the United States to offer the expertise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and top scientists to determine who was behind the attack. Just last week he had said he would likely skip the meeting (as he did last year) due to security concerns.

"I'm willing to meet with anybody anytime I can [to] save lives, help people", Trump said as he was pummeled by reporters' questions about whether the USA would ever intervene military to remove Maduro.

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"Venezuela has a tradition of being a peaceful nation".

Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida, said last month that for years he sought a peaceful solution to Venezuela, but now there's a "very strong argument" that it's a security threat to the region and the US that calls for the use of the American military. On Sept. 8, the NewYorkTimes published evidence that links US officials in the planning of a coup against the government of Venezuela.

Even so, Maduro called the alleged assassination attempt "the most serious attack our country has seen in its political history because of its implications". "Hardships have made us stronger".

Trump spoke while attending the UN General Assembly after meeting with Colombia President Ivan Duque (DOO-kay).

"All options are on the table, every one - strong ones and the less than strong ones - and you know what I mean by strong", he added. "Perhaps since [Hugo] Chávez named him his successor, no one had helped Maduro as much as Trump and this nonsense he said today", Human Rights Watch Americas Director José Miguel Vivanco told The Guardian.

At the General Assembly, members were taking turns to speak out on pressing world issues and their national priorities in world affairs. If the USA upheld democracy, Morales said, "it would not have financed coup d'etats and supported dictators" or threatened democratically elected governments as it has in Venezuela with military intervention.

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