Trump threatens Venezuela with 'military option'

Trump threatens Venezuela with 'military option'

The remarks came shortly after Maduro forcefully warned the USA president that Venezuela "will never give in".

Protests have rocked the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities in response to Maduro's move.

Maduro says the protests are a violent effort to overthrow his government and assures that the constituent assembly will bring peace to the country.

It has already sacked the attorney general, a Maduro appointee-turned-critic who opposed the creation of the Constituent Assembly as unconstitutional.

Cuban President Raul Castro expressed today his "immense revolutionary jubilation" over the results of the past elections to the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela, local media reported. Both were also barred from holding public office. She subsequently fled on the back of a motorbike.

Trump also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel's warning earlier Friday that there could be no military solution to the North Korean situation wasn't true.

"I'm being permanently persecuted".

"I hope they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean", Trump said.

The sanctions followed Friday's installation of a legislative superbody known as the constituent assembly, made up entirely of allies of the ruling Socialist Party and armed with the power to re-write the constitution.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza shot back on state television that the USA was "making a fool of itself in front of the world".

WATCH Inside Story: Venezuela: New beginnings or more of the same?

During the same briefing, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin announced sanctions to freeze "all assets of Maduro subject to US jurisdiction" and restrict USA deals with the leader.

USA officials said that energy-sector sanctions, which could cripple Venezuela's already ailing economy, are still being considered, according to Reuters news agency.

The opposition has denounced Maduro for dragging Venezuela toward dictatorship and has appealed to Venezuela's military for help at a time of rising tensions between Maduro and the United States.

We would urge the Trump administration to hold the oil card in abeyance because of the effects on price and supply even a limited embargo could have and, frankly, with little chance of success. Venezuela is hugely reliant on USA oil imports, which amount to around 740,000 barrels per day.

The Republican politicians reminded the former businessman that oil refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast which process Venezuelan crude oil make up "a significant portion, almost 10 percent, of USA imports".

Defense Minister and leader of the FANB Vladimir Padrino López, following the attack on Fort Paramacay, reinforced that military operations throughout the country are absolutely in a normal state - that the terrorist attack represented no existing current inside the FANB - and that the FANB "has deepened its anti-imperialist and Bolivarian character" over the last few years. Almost 680 million barrels of oil are in reserve.

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