Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Venezuelan oil sanctions carry risks for USA economy

Reuters Reuters
Steve Phelps | 30 July, 2017, 00:52

So far few demonstrators are heeding opposition calls for a mass protest in Venezuela's capital against President Nicolas Maduro's controversial election Sunday for an assembly to rewrite the constitution.

Opposition parties occupied the streets despite a protest ban by the government that extends through Tuesday. Nestor Reverol, the interior and justice minister, warned that violators face prison sentences of five to 10 years if they violate the ban. The opposition is boycotting the vote, saying election rules were rigged to guarantee Maduro a majority in the constitutional assembly.

"I believe that we should have a transitional government for at least two years that would attempt to decipher and dismantle the network of corruption that has been created", Arria said. The neighboring country said it would give 150,000 Venezuelans who had overstayed permission to visit another three months before they had to leave.

Despite the USA sanctions and calls from countries including Canada to cancel Sunday's vote, the Maduro regime has shown no signs of backing down. He said the constituent assembly lacks legitimacy and therefore, his county can not accept the result.

President Nicolas Maduro said this would bring peace to the South American country, but his opponents fear it will allow him to bypass the opposition-controlled parliament.

Alessandra Polga, director of the Canadian Venezuelan Engagement Foundation in Toronto, said Canada must join the U.S.in sanctioning Venezuelan officials.

Earlier this week the United States sanctioned 13 current or former senior officials in Venezuela, who are suspected of human rights abuses, suppressing democracy and corruption.

The President has urged the Opposition to begin talks with his government.

Protests have been constant since the Supreme Court in late March transferred legislative powers from the National Assembly to Maduro. Many Venezuelans live hand-to-mouth and say they must keep working. On Friday, the MUD announced that they would hold the Taking of Caracas, a giant protest in the capital with analogs throughout the country meant to show the number of people against Maduro.

Colombia's president says he will not recognize the results of Sunday's election in Venezuela for a special assembly to rewrite the struggling nation's constitution.

The July 30 referendum is "unconstitutional as well as unnecessary, inconvenient and damaging to the Venezuelan people", members of the presiding council of the bishops' conference said in a statement released July 27.

Colombia will continue to push and insist for a "peaceful solution, hopefully a fast and democratic one, so that the nation that we love - and I want to once again express my solidarity with the people of Venezuela - will soon come out from the darkness", Santos said. He became head of the mobile cabinet when Maduro assumed the presidency after Hugo Chavez's death in 2013.

Romero said the 23-year-old musician was playing his violin on the streets of Caracas and was not breaking any laws when he was detained Thursday.

The violent antigovernment protests in Venezuela, which have lasted for 119 days now, have already claimed 116 lives, according to some estimates, and have injured thousands, while thousands of other protesters have been arrested by the police.


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