USA announces new sanctions against Venezuela

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Maduro's arrival came as Venezuela was taking a thrashing. Would he address the United Nations on Wednesday - or bow out, given the risk, he said, that he could be "killed" on American soil?

But top Venezuelan officials were oddly silent Wednesday as speculation circulated on social media that the presidential plane had set out for NY. Would Maduro meet with President Trump, and somehow defuse rising tensions with the United States in a manner similar to North Korea's Kim Jung Un?

Trump said the new sanctions would target Maduro's inner circle and close advisers.

President Donald Trump said the "repressive regime" in Caracas that is responsible for a "human tragedy" in the once oil-rich nation "could be toppled very quickly by the military if the military decides to do that".

Earlier on Tuesday, the USA imposed financial sanctions on four members of Maduro's inner circle, including his wife and the nation's vice-president, on allegations of corruption.

FILE PHOTO: Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio talks to Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (not pictured) during their meeting at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing, China, August 27, 2018.

Like Venezuela, both countries have had crushing sanctions imposed on them.

Addressing the USA threats, Lavrov said afterward that "we are ready to offer all-around assistance for all of your plans", Russian news agencies reported.

The request - announced on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly - also bolsters the idea that global bodies can hold corrupt or abusive leaders or governments responsible before their citizens.

On Tuesday, he said Trump's comments were an apology for America's history of colonialism in the region and offered words of support for the sanctioned officials who joined him during an event broadcast over state television.

Maduro has called for a face-to-face conversation in the past. He later invited the United Nations and the FBI to investigate the attack "and discover the truth".

Maduro also made another stab at setting up a meeting with Trump. Food shortages and a widespread economic and political crisis have driven 2.3 million Venezuelans out of their homeland since 2014, many of them to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

However the U.S. leader also told journalists "all options are on the table" because "I want to see Venezuela straightened out".

Trump said Wednesday that all US options are on the table to help end the political, economic and humanitarian chaos in Venezuela - even the "strong ones". "I would be willing to reach out my hand to the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to discuss matters bilaterally".

Trump has also indicated that military options are on the table, but that is obviously not the desired outcome.

As the leaders try to end conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere at this U.N. General Assembly running through October 1, America's go-it-alone attitude and growing divisions among key world powers risk eroding the U.N.'s ability to bring positive change.

But his country is collapsing around him.

But his desire for some sort of reconciliation with the USA has increased as worldwide pressure has been building on his socialist government at a time of hyperinflation and widespread food and medicine shortages. Maduro, however, has denied the extent of the humanitarian crisis, while insisting his country's woes are the product of USA interference and vengeful, selfish oligarchs.

While more world leaders spoke at the General Assembly on Wednesday, most attention was still focused on Trump, whose brash behavior provoked laughter and headshakes from other leaders. "I'm evaluating what security conditions I would have to go to NY".

Treasury said the sanctions could be lifted if the officials "take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the government, and combat corruption in Venezuela". "Hopefully, one day. I've seen miracles in life".

Trump added that Maduro "needs to act a lot more humanely".