‘Get your dirty hands out of Venezuela’ – Maduro to Trump
The new sanctions package, targeting the chief judge and seven other members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court, was imposed by the US Treasury to “advance democratic governance” in the country.
“Enough meddling ... Go home, Donald Trump. Get out of Venezuela,” Maduro said in a speech broadcasted live on TV, as cited by Reuters. “Get your dirty hands out of here.”
The Venezuelan president’s tirade echoed a statement issued by the government, accusing the US of intervening into country’s internal affairs and seeking to further destabilize it.
“President Trump's aggressions against the Venezuelan people, its government and its institutions have surpassed all limits,” the statement said.
It urged the US to focus on sorting out its own internal problems, instead of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs.
“The extreme positions of a government just starting off only confirmed the discriminatory, racist, xenophobic, and genocidal nature of US elites against humanity and its own people, which has now been heightened by this new administration which asserts white Anglo-Saxon supremacy,” the statement read, as cited by Reuters.
The sanctions imposed by the US Treasury include freeze of any assets the eight judges might have in the US, deny them entering the country, and prohibit US citizens to do any business with them. The situation in Venezuela “is a disgrace to humanity” and the country “has been unbelievably poorly run,” Donald Trump said Thursday.
“We haven’t really seen a problem like that, I would say, in decades,” Trump added.
Thousands of anti-government protesters hit the streets Saturday with large crowds marching down the streets of the capital, Caracas, and the city of Christobal in the western Tachira state, which has grown into one of the main centers of the ongoing unrest.
An estimated 10,000 people chanted slogans and carried signs accusing Maduro of usurping power in the country as they marched toward the Interior Ministry HQ, AFP reported.
In Cristobal, some 40,000 demonstrators took part in the rallies. Some of the protesters reportedly hurled stones at police and a few were spotted with machetes. In light of the increasingly turbulent situation it the city, the government this week has dispatched an extra 2,600 soldiers to contain the violence.
Meanwhile, the number of those detained and killed in the skirmishes is rising. Local human rights advocates estimate that over 2,600 people have been arrested during nearly two months of demonstrations and at least 47 people have died in the clashes.
The situation in Venezuela got heated at the end of March, after the Supreme Court ruled to take over the duties of the National Assembly. The unrest in the country continues despite the court repealed the decree shortly afterward.
Venezuelan officials, however, tend to blame foreign powers for fueling the unrest, stating that the scale of the protests within the country is largely exaggerated in the media.
“The situation in Venezuela is that what has happened in the past two weeks does not affect a mere one percent of the country’s territory, but it is being presented at the international level as though the country is at war,” Venezuela’s FM Delcy Rodriguez told RT Spanish earlier in May.
The main goal of the ongoing protests was to create “a mess in our society” and violently oust President Maduro instead of seeking new elections, the head of the commission for the National Constituent Assembly Elías José Jaua Milano told RT earlier in May, as the protest leaders are “not interested in taking part in the elections when the situation is politically, economically and socially stable.”