Venezuela leader: Officials treated like Jews under Nazis

The Trump administration will take further action against "bad actors" in Venezuela if there are no changes in the country, a senior USA government official said on Thursday.

"The point here is that President Trump has made it clear that the United States will not tolerate the "bad actors" that exist in Venezuela under President (Nicolas) Maduro", the official said.

"For the sake of the Venezuelan people, and the security of the region", Haley said, "we must work together to ensure Maduro ends this violence and oppression and restores democracy to the people".

Opposition supporters hold candles while participating in a candlelight rally against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 17, 2017.

Protests against the Maduro government have escalated and there have been calls for Maduro to step down.

The death of a 15-year-old boy brought the toll from weeks of protests in Venezuela to 43 - a sad milestone that matched the number killed in the last comparable wave of unrest, in 2014. "Because right now what's happening is really a disgrace to humanity", Mr. Trump said after meeting at the White House with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

According to the 2010 budget justification, which designated US$6 million that year to Venezuela's "Economic Support Fund" the budget "will support efforts to preserve and expand democratic space through programs that strengthen and promote civil society, citizen participation, independent media, human rights organizations, and democratic political parties".

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The Trump administration has threatened further measures against Caracas, but sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major USA oil supplier.

The eight named for sanctions include the president of the Supreme Court, Maikel Moreno, and the seven principal members of the court's Constitutional Chamber. "Members of the country's Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch's authority", U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said.

Barricades of trash, auto tires, and sand littered the streets, as daily life broke down in the city that was also a hotspot during the 2014 wave of unrest against leftist President Nicolas Maduro. In February, the United States blacklisted Venezuela n Vice President Tareck El Aissami for alleged links to drug trafficking.

"What they want is for me not to go to the United Nations".

Venezuelan protesters are demanding elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign aid to offset an economic crisis, and autonomy for the opposition-controlled legislature.

Other opposition leaders have also said that they've had their passports revoked by the government.

Maduro's critics say it is outrageous for officials to spend money on foreign travel when people are struggling to obtain food and children are dying for lack of basic medicines.

  • Darren Santiago