Venezuela's FM Blames US, Opposition for Economic Woes

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National security advisor HR McMaster followed suit, saying "no military actions are anticipated in the near future".

Training exercises across country come at the heels of new U.S. sanctions and Trump's warning of military action.

The sanctions also come just weeks after the U.S. President Donald Trump issued a military threat against Venezuela.

This was the latest round of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on Venezuela after the latter held elections to elect the National Constituent Assembly at the end of July.

China has denounced the newly-imposed USA sanctions against Venezuela, saying unilateral measures would be of no avail and could only make things more complex.

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He singled out the president of Venezuela's congress, Julio Borges, as being the "mastermind" of the financial and economic "blockade" and called on the government-stacked supreme court and a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly to initiate proceedings against opponents who have lobbied in favor of the sanctions.

"We will protect our people and the people of the republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, are going to stand up", said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

The sweeping penalties, which Trump signed by executive order, prohibit US financial institutions from providing new money to Venezuela's government or the state oil company, PDVSA.

"You've got to be a big traitor to your country to ask for sanctions against Venezuela", Maduro said in a televised appearance.

The center right-led opposition and global powers including the United States say he is turning Venezuela into a dictatorship. But even with this being the case, the U.S.is still dealing with oil exports from the country.

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Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump said he did not exclude a military option in Venezuela.

Maduro said Trumps want Venezuela to default, but that it won't happen.

His Vice President Mike Pence later played down the threat, insisting that Washington was prioritising a diplomatic solution and economic sanctions. But the radical moves could hurt US financial interests and worsen the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. "Economic war, pressures and blackmail are illegal". They ban trading in two bonds the government recently issued to circumvent its increasing isolation from Western financial markets.

The new sanctions also bolster regional efforts - expressed in the Lima Declaration of August 8 - which refused to recognize Maduro's hand-picked "Constituent Assembly" and any laws it adopts. Trump has already signed an order that prohibits Americans to deal new debt from the Venezuelan government.

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