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Venezuela's Maduro wants 'personal conversation' with Trump

  • Published at 08:29 pm August 11th, 2017
Venezuela's Maduro wants 'personal conversation' with Trump

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said he wants a personal chat with US President Donald Trump, who imposed sanctions on him on grounds that he has undermined democracy.

He directed his foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, to set it up "so I have a personal conversation with Donald Trump."

He also said he would challenge the sanctions in a US court.

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

"If he's so interested in Venezuela, here I am. Mr Donald Trump, here is my hand," he said.

The United States on July 31 took the unusual step of imposing sanctions on a head of state by targeting Maduro with measures freezing any US assets he might have and barring Americans from doing business with him.

Trump's administration called Maduro a "dictator" and followed up this week with more sanctions against several members of the new Constituent Assembly.

But Maduro struck a defiant stance against what he called America's "imperialist aggression," accusing Washington of being involved in an attack on an army base last weekend by uniformed rebels led by two renegade Venezuelan officers.