RT Business: US sanctions against Venezuela won't work, warns Beijing

RT Business: US sanctions against Venezuela won't work, warns Beijing

On Aug. 11, President Donald Trump said: "We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary".

Venezuelan military train civilians how to handle weapons.

Tensions across Venezuela hit fever pitch earlier this month when a pro-government constituent assembly seized power from the opposition-held congress. The drills come a day after the USA imposed new financial sanctions on Venezuela.

Also on Friday, Maduro called an "urgent" meeting of American companies that buy Venezuelan oil and hold Venezuelan bonds to discuss the sanctions.

"We will protect our people and the people of the republic, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, are going to stand up", said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. Sanctions have also targeted up to 30 members of the Venezuelan government, and in the latest efforts, the sanctions are targeting issues with the Latin American nation's access to new debts and equity.

Reflecting those concerns and a strong lobby effort by the US oil industry, Friday's action stopped short of cutting off USA imports of Venezuelan oil that are crucial both to both Venezuela's economy and to Gulf refiners.

"Against the belligerent threats of the United States, all Venezuelans between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to contribute to the integral defense of the nation", said an announcement broadcast on state television.

More news: Rep. Griffith: Mexico Will Pay 'Part of the Tab' for Border Wall

Venezuela's center right-led opposition and worldwide powers including Washington say Maduro is turning Venezuela into a dictatorship.

While Trump's administration is aiming to pressure Maduro, the new sanctions do not prohibit investors from buying the bonds that Goldman Sachs Asset Management purchased earlier this year. But after the U.S. issued sanctions against the country last week, cutting off much of the regime's finances, officials are claiming they no longer have a way to pay for food and medicine at all.

Maduro is under worldwide pressure over his handling of an economic and political crisis.

Maduro's critics accuse him of coopting the military with top cabinet posts, as well as hijacking state institutions, such as by installing a new constituent assembly packed with loyalists.

The new sanctions aim to block Venezuela from raising new loans on US financial markets.

The government and state oil company have about $4 billion in debt payments coming due before the end of the year but only $9.7 billion in worldwide reserves on hand, the vast majority consisting of gold ingots that are hard to trade immediately for cash.

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