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His arrival and Trump's latest comments also came a day after the Trump administration announced it was imposing sanctions on Maduro's wife, vice president, and other close associates.

FILE - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, then Constituent National Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez, left, and first lady Cilia Flores, wave as they arrive to the National Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela, May 24, 2018.

The United States has been stepping up pressure on the South American country by imposing a string of sanctions, including ones on Maduro himself and the senior officials.

"We are continuing to designate loyalists who enable Maduro to solidify his hold on the military and the government while the Venezuelan people suffer", Mr Mnuchin said in statement.

As part of the sanctions, the US barred Americans from doing business with and will seize any financial assets in the USA belonging to First Lady Cilia Flores, Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino.

"Venezuela is a very sad case and we want to see it fixed - what's happening there is a human tragedy", President Donald Trump told reporters in NY, ahead of his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Maduro is widely unpopular but has clung to power through what the USA says is rigged elections and corruption. "And all of us need to continue to let the people of Venezuela know that they have our support".

"This clearly breaks from that strategy, said Smilde".

The sanctions were the result of accusations of corruption by Maduro's government.

But Maduro in September said no more than 600,000 Venezuelans had migrated in the past two years, and that 90 percent of them want to return.

"If you want to attack me, come at me directly".

Beyond rallying Maduro's opponents, it's unclear what impact the sanctions will have.

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Maduro's appearance at the General Assembly took many off guard.

Those hit with sanctions will have any assets or property in the United States seized - including a Gulfstream 200 private jet located in Florida and owned by Rafael Sarria Diaz, named as a front man - and USA institutions are prohibited from doing business with them.

"More personal sanctions can maybe deprive top Venezuelan officials from some ill-gotten gains but this will hardly destabilise the regime", said Raul Gallegos, associate director of consultancy Control Risks.

The Trump administration has levied several rounds of sanctions against Maduro's government since 2017.

"Because that's what Canadians expect: That we stand up not just for ourselves but for everyone", Trudeau said. "Every option is on the table with respect to Venezuela".

In 2016, the Venezuelan president began distributing CLAP boxes full of food.

Bensouda said she was looking at allegations Venezuelan state police "used excessive force to disperse and put down demonstrations, and arrested and detained thousands of actual or perceived members of the opposition, a number of whom would have been allegedly subjected to serious abuse and ill-treatment in detention".

Pressure on Venezuela has also been growing within Latin America.

Earlier on Wednesday, Canada's Trudeau said the complaint by the six countries would send the message that the situation in Venezuela is catastrophic and they needed to help Venezuelans out of the humanitarian crisis.

"Let me be clear: the U.S. will always stand with our allies, " Pence tweeted.


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