US pressure on the Venezuelan government is mounting. In an official White House statement, US President Donald Trump threatened to take “strong and swift economic actions” if Venezuela’s president does not go back on his intention of rewriting the constitution.

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

US President Donald Trump threatened (Monday) that he will take “strong and swift economic actions” if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro goes ahead with his plans of pulling the legislative powers from the legislative body. Maduro has announced his intentions of creating a new “Constituent Assembly” that will make changes to the constitution, a move that has been called undemocratic by many.

“Yesterday, the Venezuelan people again made clear that they stand for democracy, freedom and rule of law. Yet their strong and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator,” announced Trump in a White House official statement. “The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will take strong and swift economic actions.”

Maduro’s rivals are calling for elections, aspiring to stop his attempts to establish a committee that will rewrite the constitution. Maduro is promoting this step in order to weaken the power of the opposition-led legislative body.

On Sunday, 98% of the opposition voted against this action in an unofficial vote. Maduro claims that the members of the opposition are puppets in the hand of the United States. The Venezuelan president states time and time again that the US wishes to sabotage local economy as well as overthrow him, as part of a global Washington led right-wing conspiracy.

Riots in Venezuela

Riots in Venezuela Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Last month, a White House official stated that Trump is considering the option of imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s vital energy sector, including the government-run oil company PDVSA. The White House official stressed that this step is being carefully considered as oil expenditure accounts for 95% of the income from Venezuelan exports, and harming such a vital sector in the economy may lead to an economic crisis.