Venezuelan president compares treatment of officials abroad to Nazi persecution

Venezuelan president compares treatment of officials abroad to Nazi persecution

Leftist President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday compared the mounting global pressure against Venezuela's government to the Nazis' treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

"We haven't really seen a problem like that... in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we're witnessing", Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

A ruling issued in late March that stripped Venezuela's congress of its last powers was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism.

The agency said the justices were responsible for a number of rulings in the past year that have usurped the authority of Venezuela's democratically-elected legislature, the National Assembly. In February, the US announced it was freezing the assets of Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of playing a major role in worldwide drug trafficking.

"This isn't getting better, it's getting worse, and what we are trying to say is the worldwide community needs to say "respect the human rights of your people" or this is going to go in the direction we've seen so many others go", US Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters following Security Council talks.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez took to Twitter to reject the US-imposed measures, calling them "outrageous and unacceptable".

"In the recent past they had discussions about the two countries and the president [gave] the reasons why things are happening in Venezuela and the Honourable Freundel Stuart heard what he was saying", Perez said.

In issuing its sanctions ruling, the U.S. Treasury Department cited several court rulings since the opposition gained control of congress in 2016. Members of the country's Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch's authority.

The new sanctions come as Maduro is facing increasing pressure at home and overseas 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. Opposition activists accuse President Maduro of mismanagement that has led to a deep economic crisis in the country and call for an early election.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft warned that if things go wrong, Venezuela could "descend into conflict" and threaten worldwide peace and security.

Clashes erupted across the country in April 1 during protests in anger at Maduro's handling of an economic and political crisis.

Maduro also said in comments to a televised cabinet meeting late on Tuesday that planned opposition rallies in Caracas on Wednesday evening were reminiscent of rallies during the rise of Nazism and fascism in pre-World War Two Europe.

Marco Rubio of Florida, the main congressional backer of Trump's hardened stance toward Maduro, said of the sanctions.