CARACAS, Venezuela – The Latest on Venezuela’s political confrontation (all times local):
President Donald Trump is threatening “strong and swift economic actions” against Venezuela’s government if the its ruling party goes ahead with plans to rewrite the country’s constitution.
Trump says in a strongly-worded statement that, “The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles.” He says “If the Maduro regime imposes its Constituent Assembly on July 30, the United States will take strong and swift economic actions.”
The opposition says more than 7 million Venezuelans voted on Sunday in a symbolic referendum rejecting a plan to rewrite the constitution and consolidate the ruling party’s power over the country, which has been stricken by shortages and inflation.
Trump says the Venezuelan people “again made clear” Sunday “that they stand for democracy, freedom, and rule of law” and calls President Nicolas Maduro a “bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.”
The White House is calling on Venezuelan authorities to cancel plans to form an assembly to rewrite the constitution and instead hold what it calls “free and fair…