The United States is preparing a “series of actions” in the coming days to increase pressure on the Venezuelan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday.
“You’ll see in the coming days a series of actions that continue to increase the pressure level against the Venezuelan leadership folks, who are working directly against the best interest of the Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said. “We’re determined to ensure that the Venezuelan people get their say.”
He did not give further details on the nature of the planned actions.
Venezuela’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration has steadily increased sanctions against officials in the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro, accusing it of stifling democracy by jailing opposition leaders.
Last year, Washington imposed sanctions prohibiting trading new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state oil company PDVSA. It has imposed several rounds of sanctions on government officials, including on Maduro.
Venezuela’s economy has collapsed under Maduro, with annual inflation running at 200,000 percent, and staple foods and basic medicine increasingly difficult to obtain, which has led to mass emigration.
Pompeo’s warning comes ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York next week attended by heads of state from around the world. Maduro has not attended the meetings since 2015 and this week said he may not attend the gathering because of concerns about his safety.
In August, two drones exploded over an outdoor rally in Caracas where Maduro was giving a speech, injuring seven soldiers and leading to the arrest of over a dozen suspects, including several military officials. Maduro described it as an assassination attempt.
Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, editing by Rosalba O’Brien and James Dalgleish
Rudy was the original Trump: How NYC in the ’90s shaped American history
Running on a platform of overt racial division and culture-war politics — and aggressively demonizing the most vulnerable members of society — a white male Republican wins a hotly disputed election, in defiance of all conventional wisdom and a rapidly diversifying electorate. He replaces the first black man to hold the office, vowing to turn back to clock to an idealized past.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Once in office, the newly elected leader becomes a uniquely polarizing figure, viewed by some as a hero and savior and by others as a corrupt, racist villain. He thrives on media disputes with his enemies, attacks on freedom of speech, outrageous proposals that will never be enacted and grossly exaggerated claims about his accomplishments.
WATCH: White man gets brutally shouted down for telling black kids they can’t play in their own yard
A video which went viral over the weekend shows two white men arguing over what appears to be black children playing near their own homes.
"Keep on playing kids!" a white man, who was later identified as "Nick" can be heard shouting in a video posted by Twitter user @_SamuelLahn.
According to the tweet, a "racist neighbor" had demanded that the "mostly black" children cease playing between two apartment buildings.
"Y'all keep on playing!" Nick says. "I know every single one of y'all lives here. So, please, sir, step away if you don't live here."
"Let them go wherever the fuck they want if they live here!" Nick shouts back after the man disagrees with him. "Guess what? You only own your porch... from there on out, it's free play."
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Let’s talk about decency.
We are a nation that elected a man who in less than two and a half years has sullied our reputation across the world while here at home enabling our baser instincts to mug and molest our better angels.
The concept of decency is not one he knows or possesses within himself. His lack of it has helped reignite a contagion of hatred and intolerance, ratcheted up by Internet trollery, that largely lay dormant but now spreads once again like a toxin through the body politic.
Because of him this is not an America made great. It is instead a nation struggling with basic human decency, whether at the camps and cages of our southern border or along the corridors of Congress, where too many once rational members have succumbed to the siren call of cynical opportunism and demagoguery.