National Assembly will not create "obstacles" for economy: Venezuela's VP

Thursday, 10 Aug, 2017

But the White House's incremental approach has won praise from Latin American leaders, Maduro's political opponents and foreign policy experts who expect the U.S.to move toward more significant sanctions, especially if sanctions are met with regional support.

As a result, all their assets are frozen and any US entity is forbidden from dealing with them.

A Venezuelan mayor-turned-fugitive has called for anti-government protesters to keep defying leftist President Nicolas Maduro, who has grabbed increased powers through a new legislative superbody stacked with Socialist Party loyalists. It was recently suspended from South America's Mercosur trade bloc and the Trump administration sanctioned several top officials including Maduro.

The new USA sanctions targeted politicians and security figures but stopped short of actions against Venezuela's vital oil industry.

The Assembly was elected on July 30 amid strong opposition protests and worldwide criticism, and took office last Friday.

A dozen foreign ministers from across the Americas have condemned Venezuela's new constituent assembly, saying their governments will refuse to recognise the all-powerful body.

The former student activist had been one of the most-prominent leaders of four months of anti-government protests that have left at least 124 people dead and hundreds more injured or jailed.

In the same interview Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez said she had asked the President of the National Assembly, i.e. the regular Parliament, to cooperate and that he had declined.

They added to previous U.S. sanctions on Maduro himself-a rare step against a sitting head of state-imposed just before the assembly was elected on July 30 in a vote marred by violence, fraud allegations, and an opposition boycott.

Days later, the assembly was sworn in and, in its first session, ousted the country's Attorney General, Luisa Marvelia Ortega Diaz, who was calling for an investigation into election fraud.

He says people can be tempted to violence when they feel their electoral and constitutional options are closed — a situation the opposition says is developing in Venezuela.

The opposition to President Nicol·s Maduro also faced another fight Wednesday before the government-stacked Supreme Court, which scheduled a hearing on charges against a Caracas-area opposition mayor.

The new constitutional assembly has signaled it will act swiftly in following through with Maduro's commands.

They also stated that they would not support any Venezuelan candidacy in regional or worldwide forums and organizations.

"All the options are on the table today", Mnuchin said last week.

At the same time, almost 2,000 people have been injured, while more than 5,050 people have been arbitrarily arrested, with over 1,000 reportedly still in detention, it said.

With one of its earlier decisions, Maduro's Constituent Assembly xtended its rule for 2 years.