UPDATE 1-Maduro to Trump: "Get your dirty hands off Venezuela!"

Fri May 19, 2017 9:32pm GMT
 

(Adds Maduro quotes)

By Deisy Buitrago and Alexandra Ulmer

CARACAS May 19 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blasted Donald Trump on Friday after a fresh round of U.S. sanctions and strong condemnation of his socialist government from the U.S. leader.

"Enough meddling ... Go home, Donald Trump. Get out of Venezuela," Maduro thundered in a speech carried on live TV. "Get your dirty hands out of here."

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the chief judge and seven other members of Venezuela's Supreme Court on Thursday as punishment for annulling the opposition-led Congress in a series of rulings this year.

The new sanctions package was aimed at stepping up pressure on Maduro and his loyalists following a crackdown on street protests and efforts to consolidate his rule of the South American oil-producing country.

At the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed dismay at how once-booming Venezuela was now mired in poverty, saying "it's been unbelievably poorly run" and calling the humanitarian situation "a disgrace to humanity."

Maduro had initially urged the world to give Trump a chance after he was elected in November but his government unleashed its strongest condemnation to date of the Republican president.

"President Trump's aggressions against the Venezuelan people, its government and its institutions have surpassed all limits," said a government statement that accused Washington of seeking to destabilize Venezuela and foment foreign intervention.   Continued...

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