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20 May 2017, 10:04 | Terri Saunders
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.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles responded by urging his supporters to take to the streets and protest "more than ever".
Capriles had meant to brief the high commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on deadly violence in Venezuela that has left 43 people dead.
Anti-Semitic rhetoric was often employed by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Maduro's political godfather, to deflect criticism from the country's deep financial crisis and charges of corruption.
All of those targeted will have their assets frozen within U.S. jurisdiction, and American citizens will be barred from doing business with them, the Treasury Department said.
"In the recent past they had discussions about the two countries and the president [gave] the reasons why things are happening in Venezuela and the Honourable Freundel Stuart heard what he was saying", Perez said.
Police have fired tear gas and protesters have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails in near-daily clashes.
"We haven't really seen a problem like that... in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we're witnessing", Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress in 2016.
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"Go home, Donald Trump!" he said in heavily accented English. "More will come until they change their ways, just as the Venezuelan people expect them to and the constitution requires them to".
Trump described Venezuela's current state as a "disgrace to humanity".
The court dissolved the democratically elected National Assembly, allowing Maduro to rule by executive authority, a move it later reversed.
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft warned that if things go wrong, Venezuela could "descend into conflict" and threaten global peace and security. But sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major USA oil supplier.
Trump's sanctions and comments against Venezuelan officials played to the government's longstanding accusations of USA imperialism in Latin American affairs. "It's outrageo us and unacceptable for the United States to impose sanctions on a sovereign and independent nation in violation of Venezuela n and worldwide laws", she said on Twitter.
Venezuela is still hoping that Barbados will support of the embattled Nicolas Maduro administration in an ongoing fight with the Organization of American States (OAS), despite a vote last month by Bridgetown against the South American nation.
"For the sake of the Venezuelan people, and the security of the region, we must work together to ensure Maduro ends this violence and oppression and restores democracy to the people".
Meanwhile, Venezuela's oil industry is on the verge of collapse, reports said.
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