U.S. Treasury Department Imposes Sanctions On Venezuelan Supreme Court

An anti-government protester is taken away on a motorcycle by other demonstrators after injuring his leg during clashes with security forces in Caracas Venezuela Thursday

An anti-government protester is taken away on a motorcycle by other demonstrators after injuring his leg during clashes with security forces in Caracas Venezuela Thursday

Among those hit with sanctions was Maikel Moreno, a Maduro ally who became president of the 32-judge Supreme Court in February.

According to BBC news agency, beyond the freezing of assets those judges could have in the United States, the sanctions suppose a symbolic and political endorsement of the administration of Donald Trump to the Venezuelan extreme right opposition that seeks to destabilize the Bolivarian government. In February, the United States ordered sanctions against Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in global drug trafficking.

Russian Federation is pledging to send 60,000 tons of wheat to Venezuela each month, helping alleviate a food crisis in the troubled South American country.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said that one of his lawyers delivered a report on the crisis Friday to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, after Venezuelan officials "canceled" Capriles's passport, preventing him from flying to NY.

The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on members of Venezuela's Supreme Court following a series of rulings that the USA says has usurped power from the nation's opposition-controlled congress and sparked a deadly wave of unrest.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez decried the US sanctions on Twitter as "outrageous and unacceptable".

"When you look at the oil reserves that they have, when you look at the potential wealth that Venezuela has, you sort of have to wonder why is that happening, how is that possible?" said Trump.

They were accused of using their power to usurp the authority of Venezuela's "democratically elected legislature", which stands in opposition to Maduro and has been largely sidelined by him, the Treasury Department said.

Another sanctioned magistrate, Calixto Ortega, is a long-time diplomat who was sent by Maduro in 2014 to Aruba to negotiate the release of a retired army general who had been arrested by the Netherlands, which runs the Caribbean island's foreign affairs, on a U.S. drug warrant.

Maduro said Friday the constitution rewrite would proceed.

That has left Maduro heavily dependent on the support of the military.

The new sanctions come as Maduro is facing increasing worldwide pressure to hold elections. The Washington-based Organization of American States is holding a rare foreign ministers council session on the troubled South American nation later this month.

Venezuela's Episcopal Conference (CEV) and special presidential commission for a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution (ANC) agreed talks were needed to overcome the protracted conflict, which has led to shortages of basic goods.

(AP Photo/Fernando Llano). A protester prepares to lob a petrol bomb at government security forces during a demonstration by opponents of President Nicolas Maduro who gathered to block a major highway in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, May 20, 2017. More than 2,000 people have been detained and hundreds injured during nearly daily protests.

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