Maduro Invites All To World Solidarity Summit With Venezuela

Trump's smart sanctions can lead Venezuela back to democracy

Venezuelan troops taught civilians how to shoot rifles, fire missiles and engage in hand-to-hand combat during drills held Saturday in defiance of USA sanctions and President Donald Trump's threat of military action. Trump said earlier this month that he would not rule out a "military option" in Venezuela.

National security advisor HR McMaster followed suit, saying "no military actions are anticipated in the near future".

And so the sanctions announced Friday are aimed at "preventing the flow of funds to the Maduro regime", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The president vowed to prosecute for treason opponents he accused of being behind the sanctions, pointing a finger in particular at Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela's congress, as the purported "mastermind" of the financial and economic "blockade".

"Maybe the United States is trying to create a humanitarian crisis in our country?" He also accused the USA of wanting to "starve the Venezuelan people".

Especially since military threats were not even an option and had not been run by the U.S. Defense Department. "Obviously the United States has a lot of influence over the Venezuelan economy, but it doesn't mean we want to rush in and use our influence in an irresponsible manner".

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Reflecting those concerns and a strong lobby effort by the US oil industry, Friday's action stopped short of cutting off USA imports of Venezuelan oil that are crucial both to both Venezuela's economy and to Gulf refiners. This effort at economic isolation is at least a way of standing with the people of Venezuela, letting them know that their voices are heard, that the USA will not stand idly by as democracy crumbles - not here in our own hemisphere.

"Cuba rejects these sanctions which violate worldwide law against Venezuela and the government led by President Nicolas Maduro", said Moreno. "Economic war, pressures and blackmail are illegal".

The #trump administration moved to place more sanctions on #Venezuela on Friday. Important organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations and the Organizations of American States expressed in several occasion their rejection towards a new constituent assembly and the incredible violence of the national forces against the protesters.

Maduro is already struggling to combat widespread shortages and triple-digit inflation as oil production has tumbled to its lowest level in more than two decades.

That could choke off access to NY debt markets and substantially raise the likelihood of Venezuela being forced into default. They ban trading in two bonds the government recently issued to circumvent its increasing isolation from Western financial markets.

"For the MUD, the enemy is Venezuela".

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