Venezuela's Maduro vows to punish opponents for United States sanctions

Venezuela's Maduro vows to punish opponents for United States sanctions

Trump had previously threatened military action against Venezuela, comments that feed Maduro's claim that the United States could be behind an invasion of the oil-rich country.

Venezuela bought more weapons than any other country in Latin America in 2015, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, spending U.S. $162 million on war-related resources such as armored vehicles, artillery, warplanes and ships.

The sanctions also come just weeks after the U.S. President Donald Trump issued a military threat against Venezuela.

The White House is walking a necessary fine line in imposing additional financial sanctions on Venezuela while trying to hold harmless the long suffering citizens of that beleaguered nation.

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Tillerson called North Korea's "restraint" pleasing and said it could open a pathway for dialogue in the near future. The North earlier threatened to shoot four intermediate-range ballistic missiles toward the US territory of Guam.

Additional support for Venezuela was expressed by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez and former Panamanian President Martin Torrijos during a meeting with the former state dignitaries where the three condemned the financial and political pressure brought on by the USA due to the sanctions and threats of military intervention.

Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas called on Venezuelans to be "understanding" in the face of the sanctions, which he said amount to a "declaration of economic war".

"The present problem in Venezuela should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves", the Chinese official said at the news briefing. The sanctions bar U.S. banks for making new deals with the Venezuelan government or the country's state run oil company. Maduro has rallied military forces and civilians to protect the country. But even with this being the case, the U.S.is still dealing with oil exports from the country.

This weekend, the Venezuelan army forces are executing nation-wide military exercises to reject the sanctions and possible military attacks by the United States.

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Aloul left out that the Palestinians have refused successive offers of a state made by Israel on numerous occasions. The Fatah official warned that if political stagnation continues, "The issue of a popular uprising is on the table".

But Trump's rhetoric might have worked in Maduro's favor.

Speaking from Macarao National Park, in the western state of Miranda, Padrino said "from this observation post (and) accompanied by all of my fellow soldiers. on Sunday we officially begin this drill", Xinhua reported.

Venezuela's unique economic crisis has left the country with a widespread food and medicine shortage. Any economic sanctions, however mild, increase the risk of a default on Venezuela's ballooning debt.

Maduro's critics accuse him of coopting the military with top cabinet posts, as well as hijacking state institutions, such as by installing a new constituent assembly packed with loyalists. The new decree prohibits transactions with the government of the country and its state oil company.

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Another suspect attacked a police officer, with a sword. "I heard yelling and straight away two shots", said one witness, Yohan. The prosecutors said they would make a final ruling once the results of an autopsy on the suspect and ballistic tests are known.

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