Venezuela's FM Blames US, Opposition for Economic Woes

Venezuela accuses opposition for US sanctions

Venezuela accuses opposition for US sanctions

About 900,000 people, including soldiers and members of civilian militias, were expected to take part in the two days of martial drills over the weekend. Moreover, the announcements of a new constitution were made during a hard social and political environment that made millions of Venezuela go out and protest against Maduro's government.

Critics call the assembly's creation a blatant, authoritarian power grab, while Maduro allies argue it offers a way out of the country's political and economic crisis. The new decree prohibits transactions with the government of the country and its state oil company.

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.

Leaders of the fractious opposition coalition boycotted the July 30 election of the assembly.

China has rejected new US sanctions against Venezuela, calling for an end to foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the South American country and adding that unilateral sanctions have historically only complicated situations.

Maduro, who has frequently blamed the United States for waging an "economic war" on Venezuela, said the United States was seeking to force Venezuela to default - but he said it would not succeed. The drills come a day after the U.S. imposed new financial sanctions on Venezuela.

He added, "We have made sure that humanitarian efforts are still allowed".

This week, Trump signed a decree introducing financial sanctions against Venezuela.

The national Congress was originally elected in 2015 but because the Venezuelan Supreme Court is pro-Maduro, they have rejected every law passed by the opposition Congress.

This Saturday civilians across the Venezuelan territory were captured by the State's national channels registering in the military reserves where they received a gun.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said by imposing more sanctions, Mr. Trump is "keeping his promise of strong action" against the Maduro regime. But there was no evidence of registration beyond the most ardent supporters of Maduro's Socialist Party.

"We will protect our people and the people of the republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, are going to stand up", said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

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