President Donald Trump warns Venezuela of economic actions

President Donald Trump warns Venezuela of economic actions

"No foreign government controls Venezuela", President Nicolas Maduro told a nationally televised meeting of his National Defence Council, an emergency body he convened Tuesday in reaction to Trump's critiques.

Venezuela is one of the largest foreign suppliers of oil to the USA, accounting for almost 10 percent of total imports.

Maduro's government is now organizing the creation of a "National Constituent's Assembly" tasked with drafting a new constitution that would cement his stranglehold over the presidency, even as a national opposition-led vote found that 98 percent of Venezuelan citizens around the world oppose the measure. The government of Mexico has also urged Venezuela's government to suspend the vote to elect the Constituent Assembly.

The conservative opposition, which has the backing of the U.S., has opposed the initiative and even organised an informal poll on Sunday to gauge support.

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"Donald Trump is not the boss of Venezuela". A majority of people oppose the Constituent Assembly, which critics have said is a sham election skewed to give Maduro a majority.

Maduro also faces widespread foreign pressure to abort the Constitutional Assembly, which could rewrite the constitution and supersede other institutions.

Maduro's call for the National Defense Council after the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in a statement rejected the USA government's "unbelievable" comments on Venezuela that "shows its absolute bias towards the violent and extremist sectors of Venezuelan politics, which favor the use of terrorism to overthrow a popular and democratic government".

"The change [of power] is unstoppable and inevitable, the bloc promises to guarantee stability", a statement by Henry Ramos, the former president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, quoted by the Nacional media outlet, read. Officials say it will replace the current opposition-led legislature.

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And senior administration officials who briefed reporters Tuesday denounced what they called the "dictatorial" regime in Caracas and demanded a "re-establishment" of democracy.

"It is not a question of dismantling a dictatorship and returning to democracy", he said. She explained that part of the exercise was to identify those localities within the municipalities where the safety of voters could be threatened during the electoral event.

A day after the referendum, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent him a letter, saying that on Sunday he had prayed for "a peaceful and democratic solution for the country", and "for the authorities to hear the people's clamors for freedom, reconciliation, peace and material and spiritual well-being, particularly for the poorest and most disadvantaged".

While there were some reports of violence, the dry run vote was largely carried out in a festive mood. The opposition in Venezuela is brutally repressed and everyone is asking for peace in the midst of the crisis. "Today a new machine has been born, one that will push forward a new history, a new dawn".

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The response comes after a symbolic referendum last weekend from Venezuela's opposition.

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