Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Venezuelan leader seeks talks with Trump

Venezuelan leader seeks talks with Trump

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that he wants a meeting with President Donald Trump - the same man he has ridiculed as an imperial magnate and blasted for USA sanctions against officials in his socialist administration.

Maduro said، however، that he had instructed his foreign minister to try to set up a one-on-one meeting between him and Trump.

He also said he would challenge the sanctions in a United States court.

In his remarks, the Venezuelan leader asked for a "personal conversation" with Trump when they gather in New York City next month at the United Nations General Assembly.

"If he (Trump) is so interested in Venezuela، here I am. Mr Donald Trump, here is my hand", he said. Any transactions with the government of Venezuela or any of the South American country's state agencies will in future require prior permission from the bank, according to an internal Credit Suisse memorandum seen by "Reuters" on Thursday.

Washington imposed sanctions on eight Venezuelan officials on Wednesday for their role in creating an all-powerful legislative body loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, while a mayor-turned-fugitive called for more anti-government protests.

The new constitutional assembly has declared itself as the superior body to all other governmental institutions, including the opposition-controlled congress.

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On Thursday, Trump said he discussed Venezuela along with North Korea and Afghanistan in a security briefing with top national security aides and Vice President Mike Pence, who travels to neighbouring Colombia on Sunday in a trip where discussions on how to pressure Maduro are expected to feature prominently.

The Constituent Assembly unanimously approved Maduro "as constitutional president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, head of state and government, commander in chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces", said the agreement read by the constituent member Aristobulo Isturiz during a special session on Thursday.

Venezuela is facing mounting worldwide criticism over Maduro's crackdown on opponents and moves to consolidate power, including the selection of the all-powerful assembly.

"It's entirely conceivable that, if the Constituyente generates further chaos and repression, the Maduro government could lose even more friends", says Shifter.

Since April 1, more than 120 people have been killed in protest's against Maduro's government. Almost 130 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces.

The recent election of the 545-member assembly drew global condemnation for usurping the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress.

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