Venezuelan leader to President Trump: 'Get your pig hands out of here'

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The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry called the measure "unacceptable".

Because of the fall in oil prices, Maduro's government's mismanagement and widespread corruption, Venezuela has fallen into abysmal crisis. She said the order was one more example of USA attempts to destabilize Venezuela's government, adding that Maduro strongly backs the Supreme Court magistrates who are "victims of US imperial power".

That action, which was later reversed in the face of global criticism and street protests, was one of a half-dozen rulings by the court that USA officials say "interfere with or limit the National Assembly's authority". His assets within USA jurisdiction and those of seven other justices have been frozen and US citizens are prohibited from doing business with them.

Trump's sanctions and comments against Venezuelan officials played to the government's longstanding accusations of USA imperialism in Latin American affairs.

Venezuela's latest wave of anti-government unrest, which has left at least 45 people dead in the last six weeks, began with the Supreme Court, packed with Maduro supporters, assuming the authorities of the opposition-led Congress in late March. On Thursday, several thousand demonstrators once again disrupted life in Caracas and other cities with protests that ended in clashes with security forces firing tear gas and rubber bullets, leaving more than 50 people injured.

"Venezuela categorically rejects claims made by US President Donald Trump on May 18, 2017".

Despite its vast oil reserves, Venezuela is suffering chronic shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies. It is a very, very awful problem.

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"On day 50 of the resistance we will make the biggest show of strength so far in this period", said Juan Andres Mejia, one of a group of lawmakers leading the demonstrations, of today's planned demonstrations.

"We haven't really seen a problem like that, I would say, Mr. President, in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we're witnessing", Trump said, adding that "we'll work together to do whatever is necessary to help with fixing that". But sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major US oil supplier. The country is the third biggest oil supplier to the United States, after Canada and Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela has responded by condemning the sanctions.

Venezuelan government officials dispute the notion that the country's justice system is politicized.

They were accused of using their power to usurp the authority of Venezuela's "democratically elected legislature", which stands in opposition to Maduro and has been largely sidelined by him, the Treasury Department said. "Now they are not planning to run for elections at all, but initially they wanted the election to take place amid economic and social chaos in the country, thus they could have won by creating a mess in our society", he said.

"CNN, do not get into the affairs of Venezuelans. Get out of Venezuela", Maduro said in a television speech, according to Reuters.

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