The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the chief judge and seven other members of Venezuela 's Supreme Court on Thursday as punishment for annulling the opposition-led Congress earlier this year, US officials said.
Maduro has presided over a collapse of the Venezuelan economy and a crackdown on democracy in the South American nation, where the opposition has routinely cried foul.
The ruling was later partially reversed amidinternational criticism, but it sparked a protest movement that has continued for almost two months and left more than 40 people dead.
Government opponents, accusing Maduro of becoming a dictator by postponing elections and seeking to rewrite the constitution, have staged demonstrations almost every day since early April.
People made off with items including coffee, diapers, and cooking oil in the OPEC nation where a brutal economic crisis has made basic foods and medicine disappear from shelves. Venezuela's government said yesterday it was sending troops to a western region rocked by violence during anti-government protests, as the United Nations Security Council prepared to discuss the crisis.
Earlier Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed dismay about Venezuela's troubles, asking aloud how a nation sitting atop the world's largest oil reserves could be stricken by so much poverty and unrest.
"We've seen 150 political prisoners, over 1,500 arrests and clearly we're starting to see serious instability in Venezuela", she said.
Protesters are demanding early elections and accuse Maduro of trying to cling to power.
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The U.S. Treasury Department is freezing the assets of eight members of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice as a result of rulings that the U.S. says have usurped the power of that country's democratically elected National Assembly.
Elected in 2013, Maduro has accused the opposition of plotting a coup against him with U.S. backing.
He said Venezuela prefers the regional approach, noting that Pope Francis has offered help and the former presidents of the Dominican Republic, Spain and Panama are talking to both sides.
"My mom sent my brother yesterday to buy flour for dinner and a little while later, we received a call saying he'd been injured by a bullet", said his sister Maria Contreras, waiting for his body to be brought to a San Cristobal morgue.
"Venezuela will resolve its own internal problems", Ambassador Rafael Ramirez told reporters after the meeting.
A day before Guerrero's death, the chief prosecutor had put the death toll at 42 for protests that erupted after the Supreme Court moved to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress in late March.
Opposition activists holding candles protest against the deaths of 43 people in clashes with the police during weeks of demonstrations.
Opposition groups planned two further rallies later this evening.