Canada and 5 Latin American nations ask ICC to probe Venezuela government

Saul Bowman
September 30, 2018

"Venezuela expresses its strongest rejection of the warmongering and interventionist statements issued by the president of the United States ... aimed at promoting a military uprising in the country", the foreign ministry in Caracas said in a statement.

President Trump had earlier said he was willing to meet Mr Maduro.

"You can create a storyline that says Washington is amping up the pressure, and I think that is accurate, but I'm not sure that this becomes a tipping point", said Eric Farnsworth, a Venezuela expert at the Council of the Americas.

A group of USA senators said on Tuesday they had introduced legislation seeking to address the crisis in Venezuela by, among other things, tightening sanctions and providing $40 million (£30.35 million) in humanitarian aid.

Venezuela's President, Nicholas Maduro, has said that he is willing to reach out to his USA counterpart and discuss mutual grievances. We're going to take care of Venezuela.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control also sanctioned a network of companies maintained by businessman Rafael Alfredo Sarria Diaz as a front organization for Diosdado Cabello Rondon, president the Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly.

On Tuesday, during his unabashedly "America First" speech, Trump said Iranian leaders "sow chaos, death and destruction" and "spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond".

"I'm willing to meet with anybody anytime I can [to] save lives, help people", Trump said as he was pummeled by reporters' questions about whether the United States would ever intervene with military to remove Maduro.

"Currently we are witnessing the human tragedy" in Venezuela, Trump told world leaders gathered at the United Nations.

On Tuesday, Trump suggested that Maduro could be toppled by his own military as the U.S stepped up financial pressure by slapping the socialist president's inner circle with fresh sanctions.

"All options are on the table, every one - strong ones and the less than strong ones - and you know what I mean by strong", he added.

As he boarded a plane in Caracas with his wife Wednesday, he said he was leaving for NY "full of emotion, passion, truths, so that everyone knows that Venezuela is on its feet".

Maduro called the new measures "illegal" and said that, along with other financial sanctions, were aimed at crippling the country economically - much like the embargo on Cuba.

Pompeo said on Twitter his meeting with Ri in NY on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly was to discuss the summit and "next steps toward denuclearization of #North Korea". Further, the United States calls on the Maduro regime to immediately allow global aid, including food and medicine, to reach Venezuela at a sufficient scale to meet growing humanitarian needs.

Trump's comments earlier on Wednesday suggested he could meet Maduro, who has been publicly seeking a sit-down with Trump, his ideological foe, since past year.

Maduro's appearance at the General Assembly took many off guard.

"He's creating political space, so that when the US takes actions like sanctions, they seem to be quite reasonable", Farnsworth said.

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