Separately, the nation’s Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas called Trump’s threat of military action “an unprecedented threat to national sovereignty.” In a tweet, Villegas announced he had summoned  the nation’s diplomats for a meeting on Saturday and promised to release a later “communiqué addressing the imperial threat to Venezuela” represented by the U.S. government.

No stranger to U.S. meddling in its internal affairs, Venezuela was the victim of a coup in 2002 that had the explicit backing and support of U.S. officials and neoconservative allies.

Offering perpsective on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, Mark Weisbrot, economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, appeared on BBC earlier this week amidst increasingly violent street protests and in the wake of new threats from right-wing forces calling for—and actually attempting—a militant rebellion against Maduro’s existing democratically-elected government. In his comments, Weisbrot calls it deeply problematic that the Trump administration has openly called for “regime change” in Venezuela, especially given the historic and destructive role of U.S. imperialism in Latin America.

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