Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US imposes sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court

Venezuela presents a "very, very frightful problem" for the entire hemisphere, and the ongoing unrest there that's left dozens dead and hundreds injured was "nothing like what we've seen for a long time", Trump said, adding that the USA stood with those "yearning to be free". In this case, the sanctions are a response to the Court's attempt to take over the constitutional responsibilities of the opposition-run National Assembly back in March. Maduro's opposition was planning a larger Saturday protest nationwide to demand elections. Marco Rubio said on the Senate floor Wednesday, urging for sanctions.

In addition, Diosdado Cablello, former speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly, on his popular TV program, compared opposition marches with Kristallnacht, the vicious pogroms against Jews, Jewish-owned businesses, and synagogues unleashed by the Nazis in 1938.

The U.S. government said the judges were being targeted because they had "usurped" democratic authority.

Meanwhile, things seem to be spiraling further out of control.

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Across the country near the border with Colombia, clashes and lootings raged overnight, even though the government sent 2,000 troops to Tachira state. Public transportation was shut down Wednesday, many businesses closed and long lines snaked to the few operating ATMs. On Thursday, several thousand demonstrators once again disrupted life in Caracas and other cities with protests that ended in clashes with security forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets, leaving more than 50 people injured.

Masked youths responded by hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails in scenes now familiar after weeks of unrest. The center-right opposition blames it all on mismanagement and corruption in the Socialist government.

Analysts say street protests are one of the few means the opposition has left to pressure Maduro. Less than a month ago Capriles was barred by the Maduro administration from running for elected office for the next 15 years.

"My passport is valid until 2020".

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The peaceful protest rapidly descended into a street fight as men in black suits appeared from seemingly nowhere. The guards surrounded a middle-aged man who had been kicked to the ground and was kicked repeatedly in the face.

"From this moment we are not going to permit any more violent or terroristic acts", said Jose Morantes Torres, commander of a regional defence force overseeing operations. "I will not be able to attend the meeting with the [UN] High Commissioner for Human Rights", Capriles said in a video posted online.

"Hope @hcapriles passport removal is not reprisal linked to planned meeting with me tomorrow".

"We think if that doesn't happen we will certainly be hearing this in the Security Council because it will be a real problem - not just in the region but internationally", Haley told reporters after the closed-door briefing and discussions that lasted over 1½ hours.

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