The Latest: President Maduro pledges resistance to U.S. military intervention

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro says he will not be cowed by a US military intervention. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes) Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, considered a dictator by many, spoke to the nation Saturday via the…

The Latest: President Maduro pledges resistance to U.S. military intervention

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro says he will not be cowed by a US military intervention. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, considered a dictator by many, spoke to the nation Saturday via the government-sponsored television station, VTV.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, considered a dictator by many, spoke to the nation Saturday via the government-sponsored television station, VTV.

Sanctions on Maduro have been applied in two phases

The first round of sanctions were applied to 17 prominent Maduro officials. They include his wife, Cilia Flores; the country’s foreign minister; and several others. The United States prohibited Americans from conducting business with Maduro or his family.

The second phase of sanctions are intended to target Maduro’s financial network. It includes freezing any accounts in the United States, as well as blocking any U.S. companies from doing business with them.

Tensions with the United States are on the rise

In January, the United States announced that it would support a Venezuelan military coup if Maduro did not stand down. In a major speech, he called it an absurd threat. U.S. President Donald Trump has also threatened military intervention, although he has denied that this was the intention. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton later said that the U.S. would support any effort that was being organized by the Venezuelan military.

Maduro’s former vice president says he won’t give up his dual Venezuelan-British citizenship

Last year, Venezuela’s former vice president Tareck El Aissami was indicted by the United States on drug charges. In November, the country’s current vice president, Cilia Flores, said that El Aissami was not worried and that he would not give up his citizenship.

— A 30-second clip of Maduro’s live broadcast was viewed tens of thousands of times

The spot, called “The Act of President Maduro,” was attended by senior officials, including Maduro’s brother, who also serves as the country’s vice president. The video was recorded at the national headquarters of the State Constituent Assembly, which was announced this week. Maduro has said he will retire within a year of winning re-election in May.

The drama has been building since October 2018 when he purged the Supreme Court to remove its chief justice, Maikel Moreno, who had been leading a democratic re-election campaign that was critical of Maduro. That move — which was seen as an abrogation of the country’s constitution — prompted the United States to move its embassy in Colombia and Honduras to self-imposed metropolitan Caracas.

Amid international outrage, Maduro returned the court to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, removed the chief justice and installed a loyal successor.

The U.S. is investing in opposition to Maduro’s regime

America has been strengthening its opposition to Maduro’s regime for some time. In September, President Trump declared a national emergency in order to get more sanctions against Maduro. It also sanctioned the country’s oil sector in November.

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