US imposes sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court


Trump's comments came one day after the Venezuelan government announced it was sending more than 2,500 troops to a trouble-hit region on the border with Colombia to try to quell weeks of violence that have claimed 44 lives nationwide.

On Thursday, Venezuelan prosecutors charged three soldiers and two police officers in the deaths of a teen and a father this week in the state of Tachira.

Earlier, Haley said in a statement that Venezuela was "on the verge of a humanitarian crisis" and urged the global community to work together "to ensure Maduro ends this violence and oppression and restores democracy to the people".

The high court is dominated by loyalists of President Nicolas Maduro.

President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of inciting violence by calling people on to the streets.

Maduro's government accuses them of seeking a violent coup and says numerous protesters are no more than "terrorists". State oil company PDVSA also blamed roadblocks for pockets of gasoline shortages in the country on Wednesday.

Following Security Council talks, US Ambassador Nikki Haley called for countries to send a message to Maduro. Over 1,000 people have been arrested.

The United Nations Security Council on May 17 turned its attention to the crisis in Venezuela.

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The United States has warned at the United Nations that Venezuela's crisis was worsening and could escalate into a major conflict, similar to Syria or South Sudan.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez responded on Twitter by repeating Maduro's allegation that the United States was out to topple his government.

France called on Thursday for a regional or worldwide mediation to be set up between the Venezuelan government and opposition groups to end the worsening violence in the oil producing nation. The Trump administration has imposed economic sanctions on members of the country's Supreme Court.

"We are ready, all phytosanitary and trade agreements have been already signed and very soon Russian Federation will supply to Venezuela 60,000 tons of wheat per month on a stable basis starting from this year", Maduro said. "We don't carry the yellow Star of David, we carry red hearts that are filled with desire to fight for human dignity. And we are going to defeat them, these 21st century Nazis". In a statement, the group expressed "absolute repudiation" of any attempt to equate recent events with the persecution endured by Jews in Nazi Germany.

Critics of Maduro say it is an excuse for him to consolidate power and muzzle the opposition.

Moreno, while not directly involved in those decisions, has defended them and from the bench also upheld a almost 14-year sentence against opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez a day after Trump called for his release at a White House meeting with his wife.

The decision was partially reversed though protests have continued nationwide.

Many carried flags and candles.