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

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Maikel Moreno, the president of Venezuela's Supreme Court, and among those sanctioned by the us government, said Friday that Trump's executive order was an attempt to impose its authority over Venezuela's institutions and compromise the judicial branch's independence.

She said the order was one more example of US attempts to destabilize Venezuela's government, adding that Maduro strongly backs the Supreme Court magistrates who are "victims of USA imperial power".

The remarks come a day after the Trump administration slapped sanctions against eight members of Venezuela's Supreme Court, accusing them of damaging the nation's democracy.

"You sort of have to wonder: Why is that happening?"

According to BBC news agency, beyond the freezing of assets those judges could have in the United States, the sanctions suppose a symbolic and political endorsement of the administration of Donald Trump to the Venezuelan extreme right opposition that seeks to destabilize the Bolivarian government.

The sanctions imposed by the US Treasury include the freeze of any assets that the judges may have in the US, barring them from entering the country, and prohibiting US citizens from doing business with them.

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress in 2016.

"We find the rising tensions in Venezuela very alarming, and incidents like that involving Mr. Capriles yesterday are unlikely to help reduce tensions", Zeid's spokesperson, Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

Venezuela's Supreme Court has always been filled with government loyalists.

Later in May, Elías José Jaua Milano, who was appointed president of the Commission for the National Constituent Assembly, said in an interview with RT Spanish that Venezuela's major opposition is not interested in taking part in free general elections, and is merely seeking ways to create chaos and violently oust President Nicholas Maduro from office.

There was no immediate reaction from the Maduro government, but in the past it has disputed that the country's justice system is politicized. A ruling by the court in late March stripping the opposition-controlled assembly of its remaining powers ignited a deadly wave of unrest.

"In Venezuela, we are on the verge of [a] humanitarian crisis", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

The new sanctions come as Maduro is facing increasing worldwide pressure to hold elections. The Washington-based Organization of American States is holding a rare foreign ministers council session on the troubled South American nation later this month.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Venezuela in protest against the Maduro's government, demanding elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign aid and autonomy for the opposition-led legislature.

Maduro is pushing to resolve the crisis by convening a special assembly to rewrite the nation's constitution. He served time for murder 30 years ago and was implicated in at least two other murders yet continued to rise in Venezuela's murky security services.

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