Venezuela's sanctions-hit Maduro says he wants direct talk with Trump

Fugitive mayor urges Venezuelans to continue resistance

Venezuela Rejects New US Sanctions Against its Democracy

On Thursday, the opposition accused the government Thursday of persecution after the supreme court this week sentenced two of its mayors to 15 months in prison for not preventing anti-government protests.

The Constituent Assembly on Thursday held its third plenary session with a special convocation attended by Maduro.

Speaking before a new loyalist assembly that he saw elected last month, Maduro said he had also given officials orders to organize a face-to-face meeting with Trump - "if it can happen" - when the two of them are in NY on September 20 for the UN General Assembly.

Both Smolansky and Muchacho were barred from holding public office.

"Is this the peace that Maduro is talking about?" said Gerardo Blyde, another mayor who is the target of a legal investigation.

It has already sacked the attorney general, a Maduro appointee-turned-critic who opposed the creation of the Constituent Assembly as unconstitutional.

"As Citgo relies on Venezuela for about 28% of its crude oil supply, it can buy heavily from other markets, rebalancing its crude oil mix to optimum profit levels, though over several months", the rating agency said.

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Venezuela has come under fire for using excess force against demonstrators during four months of anti-government protests by citizens outraged over rampant inflation and shortages of food and medicine.

"Undoubtedly, this process represents a valuable lesson that makes Venezuela a symbol for our continent", the Cuban leader said in a letter to his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro.

But hackers have taken up the torch.

It also stated that U.S. government has demonstrated once again its not much interest in the democracy and self-determination of peoples; in respect for human rights, especially vote and people´s decisions.

Polls suggest the opposition would win most of the states, if the elections are fair, replicating its landslide 2015 victory in taking control of the National Assembly.

A British-based company, Smartmatic, that supplied the voting technology has said the turnout figure was "tampered with".

But as the country's political crisis has worsened, the bonds issued by the government as well as the state-owned oil company PDVSA have become a point of contention and concern for investors who increasingly worry they are supporting an oppressive regime as well as a country that is a great risk of defaulting on its debts.

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