Trump says Venezuela crisis a 'disgrace to humanity'

2017-05-19 13:11
President Donald Trump. (Ross D Franklin, AP)

President Donald Trump. (Ross D Franklin, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington -US President Donald Trump on Thursday called the situation in Venezuela a "disgrace to humanity" and said the deadly political crisis was possibly the worst of its kind in decades.

"We haven't really seen a problem like that... in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we're witnessing," Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

"People don't have enough to eat. People have no food. There's great violence. And we will do whatever is necessary and we will work together to do whatever is necessary to help with fixing that. (...) what is happening is really a disgrace to humanity."

Shortly thereafter the US Treasury slapped sanctions on eight members of Venezuela's Supreme Court, charging them with undermining the deeply divided country's democratic legislature in support of a corrupt government.

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.

Despite its vast oil reserves, Venezuela is suffering chronic shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies.

The centre-right opposition blames it all on mismanagement and corruption in the Socialist government.

President Nicolas Maduro in turn blames sabotage by the "bourgeois" opposition, which he says is backed by Washington.

"When you look at the oil reserves that they have, when you look at the potential wealth that Venezuela has, you sort of have to wonder why is that happening, how is that possible?" said Trump.

"It has been unbelievably poorly run for a long period of time, and hopefully that will change and they could use those assets for the good and to take care of their people," he said.

Tough sanctions 

The Treasury Department sanctions were Washington's toughest action yet signalling support for hundreds of thousands of protestors seeking Maduro's tight grip on power.

The announcement followed a series of rulings since mid-2016 in which the court usurped the National Assembly's powers in support of Maduro.

The sanctions freeze any assets the country's most powerful judicial figures may have in US jurisdictions and lock them out of much of global banking.

"The Venezuelan people are suffering from a collapsing economy brought about by their government's mismanagement and corruption," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"Members of the country's Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch's authority," he said.

"By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country."

The Treasury cited recent Supreme Court rulings that have allowed Maduro to rule by executive decree, exempted the government from submitting its budget to the legislature, and taken away from the legislature the power to appoint the National Electoral Council.

In March, the court stripped parliamentary immunity from members of the National Assembly and moved to assume legislative powers for itself. Those decisions have since been partially reversed.

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.

In February, the US designated Maduro's vice president and presumed heir Tareck El Aissami a major international drug trafficker.


Read more on:    donald trump  |  venezuela  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.

 
 

Paws

12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.