Trump threatens ‘economic actions’ if Venezuela moves ahead with Constituent Assembly

By on July 18, 2017

President Donald Trump's maiden international trip, a five-stop marathon across the Middle East and Europe, has long loomed as a crucial first test abroad for the chaos-courting president. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
U.S. President Donald Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to “take strong and swift economic actions” against Venezuela’s government if Venezuela goes ahead to pursue the creation of a National Constituent Assembly (ANC).

According to a strongly worded statement released by the White House, Trump warned that if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “imposes” the ANC on July 30, the United States will “take strong and swift economic actions.”

Venezuelans will go to the polls on July 30 to elect the 545 members of the ANC.

The vote comes at a time of high tension in Venezuela, with the anti-government protests organized by the opposition, Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), has led to more than 90 deaths since early April.

The MUD sees the establishment of the ANC, which will rewrite the constitution, as a power grab by Maduro.

Meanwhile, Venezuela saw both of its feuding political factions prepare polls on Sunday, with the government holding a simulation of the July 30 vote to elect the ANC while the opposition was organizing an unofficial referendum of its own to gauge public support for or rejection of the ANC.

According to Venezuelan National Assembly President Julio Borges, more than 7.2 million people took part in the vote held by the opposition. (Xinhua)