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MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has said that the US will not be able to intimidate him by slapping sanctions on him, describing them as a something to be proud of.
"If they impose sanctions on me for convening the Constituent Assembly, that’s what they say, I am proud of being sanctioned, Mr. Emperor [Donald] Trump," he said speaking at an event, broadcast by the Venezolana de Television network.
The US Department of the Treasury earlier announced the decision to slap sanctions on Maduro.
On July 30, Venezuelan authorities held the elections to the Constituent Assembly, despite pressure from the international community and the biggest protests in recent years. The assembly, which has 545 members, will convene for an August 2 meeting in the same building where the country’s National Assembly controlled by the opposition who is strongly opposed to the constitutional convention works.
The Constituent Assembly can reform the public administration system and amend Venezuela’s Constitution. Maduro’s decree on convening this body without holding a preliminary referendum signed in May led to tensions swiftly spiraling out of control in the country, which at that time was already rocked by large-scale anti-government protests.
To date, more than 110 people have been killed and thousands were injured during protests staged by the opposition. The authorities arrested about 4,900 protesters, nearly 1,400 of them are still in custody.