US President Donald Trump has warned Venezuela of strong and swift economic actions if the country's ruling party goes ahead with plans to rewrite the its constitution. "The US will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the US will take strong and swift economic actions," Trump said yesterday in a strongly worded statement. "The US once again calls for free and fair elections and stands with the people of Venezuela in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy," he said. On Sunday, the Venezuelan people again made clear that they stand for democracy, freedom, and rule of law, he said. "Yet their strong and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator," Trump alleged. Earlier his spokesman expressed concern over the situation in Venezuela. "We've been watching what's been going on. We congratulate the Venezuelan people for the huge turnout in the referendum yesterday and the unmistakable statement that they made and that they delivered to their government," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his daily news conference. "We condemn the violence inflicted by government thugs against innocent voters, and efforts by the government to erode democracy in Venezuela.
We once again call for the constituent assembly of July 30th to be cancelled, and for free and fair elections to be scheduled," Spicer said. In a separate statement, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert applauded "the courage and determination" of Venezuelans who exercised their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in defense of their democracy on July 16. "Yesterday's vote was amassive repudiation of the proposed National Constituent Assembly, which would undermine Venezuela's democratic institutions. The vote by millions of Venezuelans was an unequivocal affirmation in support of free and fair elections as well as respect for the existing constitution," she said. Condemning the loss of life in Catia, Caracas and deploring the violence, she called on the Venezuelan government to bring the attackers to justice. "Millions of Venezuelans voices must not be ignored. The US calls on the Government of Venezuela to abandon the proposed National Constituent Assembly. We encourage governments in the hemisphere and around the world to call on President Maduro to suspend this process which only seeks to undermine democracy in Venezuela," Nauert said.
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