Russian Federation says worldwide sanctions on Venezuela "not constructive" (ROSN)

Posted August 12, 2017

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has said he wants a meeting with United States president Donald Trump - the man he ridicules as a crass imperial magnate and blasts for sanctions against officials in his socialist government.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza shot back on state television that the U.S. was "making a fool of itself in front of the world".

By holding those responsible to account, "we are preventing violent incidents from happening again in the future", the lawmakers said.

In his remarks, the Venezuelan leader asked for a "personal conversation" with Trump when they gather in New York City next month at the United Nations General Assembly.

"If he's so interested in Venezuela, here I am", the socialist president said.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the letter, which was addressed to President Donald Trump.

Maduro's request comes after the US levied sanctions on eight top Venezuelan officials for violating human rights and democratic norms.

But Maduro struck a defiant stance against what he called America's "imperialist aggression", accusing Washington of being involved in an attack on an army base last weekend by uniformed rebels led by two renegade Venezuelan officers.

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In his Thursday speech at the Constituent Assembly، Maduro "subordinated" himself to the supreme body، recognizing it as Venezuela's most powerful legal institution.

Venezuela's government-packed Supreme Court has ordered the removal and imprisonment of another Caracas-area mayor for not obeying orders to shut down protests in his district.

Moscow, which considers Caracas a "key strategic partner", has criticized the Venezuelan opposition for "disrupting" recent elections for a constituent assembly - known in Spanish as the Constituyente - that will rewrite the constitution.

More than 125 people have died in violence since the opposition began a sustained wave of protests in April.

The recent election of the 545-member assembly drew worldwide condemnation for usurping the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro on August 7 on his public television show Sundays with Maduro welcomed this intention to participate and again repeated his call for dialogue and reconciliation via the electoral route.

Experts say individual sanctions have had little or no impact on Maduro's policies and that broader oil-sector and financial sanctions may be the only way to make the Venezuelan government feel economic pain.

We would certainly urge them to try because a similar effort, in which Venezuela played an important part, helped end Colombia's half-century-long war with leftist rebels previous year, a conflict that seemed much more intractable than Venezuela's.