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US preparing ‘actions’ in coming days against Venezuela: Pompeo

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government.

“You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo told Fox News on Friday.

“We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say,” he added.

The top US diplomat did not give further details on the nature of the planned actions.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has steadily increased sanctions against officials in the government of President Nicolas Maduro, accusing it of stifling democracy by jailing opposition leaders.

Last year, Washington imposed sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state oil company PDVSA. It has imposed several rounds of sanctions on government officials, including on Maduro.

Venezuela’s economy has collapsed under Maduro, with annual inflation running at 200,000 percent, and staple foods and basic medicine increasingly difficult to obtain, which has led to mass emigration.

Maduro has blamed a US-led economic war for the crisis, saying Washington is plotting to topple his socialist government.

In August 2017, American media also reported that Trump had asked his top advisers about the potential for a US invasion of Venezuela. Around the same time, he said publicly that he would not rule out a “military option” to end the turmoil there.

Pompeo’s warning comes ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York next week attended by heads of state from around the world.

Maduro has not attended the UN summits since 2015 and this week said he may not attend the gathering due to threats to his safety.

Last month, two drones exploded over an outdoor military parade in Caracas where Maduro was giving a speech, injuring seven soldiers and leading to the arrest of over a dozen suspects, including several military officials.

The Venezuelan government claims this was a targeted attempt to assassinate Maduro.

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