Venezuela conducts military exercises after USA threat

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"No military actions are anticipated in the near future", said United States national security advisor HR McMaster.

This handout picture shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raising his clenched fist during a rally against US President Donald Trump, in Caracas, on August 14, 2017.

Venezuela's display of military might come in response to US President Donald Trump's threat of military action two weeks ago and new financial sanctions announced on Friday.

He singled out the president of Venezuela's congress, Julio Borges, as being the "mastermind" of the financial and economic "blockade" and called on the government-stacked supreme court and a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly to initiate proceedings against opponents who have lobbied in favor of the sanctions.

"The present problem in Venezuela should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves", she told a daily news briefing. Additionally, Rodríguez's comments would suggest the Maduro regime is willing to accept humanitarian aid being offered by various countries across the world. But the radical moves could hurt USA financial interests and worsen the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

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Following Trump's statement earlier this month, where the president stated that a "military option" to resolve Venezuela's situation was not off the table, even right-wing allies in Latin America condemned the military threat.

Maduro was accompanied by Vice President Tareck El Aissami, a Constituent Assembly member Tania Diaz, among other leaders who met with activists and representatives of social movements.

Maduro said Trumps want Venezuela to default, but that it won't happen. They are expected to make it hard for the government of President Nicolas Maduro to restructure its debt payments and are likely to aggravate the shortages of some foods and other products for Venezuelan consumers. But after the USA issued sanctions against the country last week, cutting off much of the regime's finances, officials are claiming they no longer have a way to pay for food and medicine at all. "Economic war, pressures and blackmail are illegal". With Venezuela's streets calmer than they have been for months, and the opposition reeling from its failure to prevent the constitutional assembly from going forward, action from an increasingly concerned global community represents the best chance of reining in Maduro, he added. As well, they are not allowed to made new transactions with the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, as the administration deems that such businesses fuel Nicolas Maduro's dictatorship.

The new sanctions aim to block Venezuela from raising new loans on US financial markets.

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