Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Venezuelan leader to Trump: "'Get your pig hands out of here"

Venezuelan leader to Trump:

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is delivering his most scathing critique of U.S. President Donald Trump yet, telling him to "get your pig hands out of here".

"The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government's mismanagement and corruption", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

It is the first time the US has sanctioned an entire panel of judges. But sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major USA oil supplier. Earlier this year, the administration also blacklisted Venezuela's vice president, Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of being a major drug trafficker.

Venezuela's latest wave of anti-government unrest, which has left at least 45 people dead in the last six weeks, began with the Supreme Court, packed with Maduro supporters, assuming the authorities of the opposition-led Congress in late March.

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Almost two months of political upheaval in Venezuela have left at least 46 people dead.

Trump's administration has repeatedly raised concerns that Maduro is moving toward one-party, authoritarian rule.

While Venezuelan leaders have lashed out at USA presidents frequently in the past, Mr Maduro had largely been careful not to antagonise Mr Trump.

"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? "And hopefully that will change", said Trump.

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During Maduro's visit to the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed dismay at how once-booming Venezuela was now mired in poverty, saying "it's been unbelievably poorly run" and calling the humanitarian situation "a disgrace to humanity".

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

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress.

Anti-government protesters make their way to the Interior Ministry, before clashing with National Guards who blocked them in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, May 18, 2017. The court's constitutional chamber declared null and void eight National Assembly laws between January and October 2016, after just one such ruling in the previous 200 years, legal experts say.

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Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, whose state of Florida is home to thousands of wealthy Venezuelans who have fled their country, praised the new sanctions. The protest in Caracas. The protest in Caracas comes after a tumultuous 24 hours of looting and protests in the western state of Tachira that led the government to send in troop reinforcements, and after nearly two months of unrest nationwide in which more than 40 people have been killed. Local media said he was a medical student belonging to the so-called "Green Cross", a group of volunteer first-responders that is a fixture at opposition marches.

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