07:27 GMT +324 October 2019
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    U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrives to address reporters as the Trump administration announces economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2019

    US Denounces Venezuela's Attorney General as 'Illegitimate' - Bolton

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - White House National Security Adviser John Bolton in a statement on Tuesday said that the United States condemns Venezuelan prosecutors for threatening opposition leader Juan Guaido.

    "We denounce the illegitimate former Venezuelan Attorney General's threats against President Juan Guaido", Bolton said via Twitter. "Let me reiterate — there will be serious consequences for those who attempt to subvert democracy and harm Guaido".

    Earlier, Venezuela's Prosecutor General Tarek Saab announced his intention to conduct an investigation into Guaido and asked the Supreme Court to implement a travel ban. Guaido proclaimed last week himself the interim president of the country and was swiftly recognized by Washington and its allies.

    On Monday, Bolton during a press conference announced that the United States was imposing sanctions on Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said PDVSA could be relieved from US sanctions if it commits to the expeditious transfer of control to Guaido.

    READ MORE: No Talks on Sending 5,000 Troops to Colombia Amid Venezuela Crisis — Shanahan

    Last week a senior US administration official told reporters that "all options are on the table" for the United States if President Nicolas Maduro or any of his allies harm any members of the Venezuelan National Assembly or other legitimate government officials.

    Maduro on Monday accused the United States of an attempt to "steal" the US-based Citgo energy company, a subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA oil and gas company, and called the new US sanctions against PDVSA illegal.

    Maduro, the twice democratically elected president, has called the opposition leader a "US puppet", accused Washington of attempting to organize a coup in Venezuela and declared his intent to cut off diplomatic ties with the US.

    READ MORE: US Gives Venezuela's Opposition Leader Juan Guaido Control Over Some Assets

    Other major powers including Russia and China, along with Turkey, have refused to support the Venezuelan opposition leader's move, instead backing Maduro as the country's legitimate president and demanding that other countries respect the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state.

    Earlier in the day, State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino confirmed in a statement that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has certified the authority for Juan Guaido to take control of some Venezuelan government assets.

    READ MORE: US Imposes Sanctions Against Venezuela's PDVSA — White House (VIDEO)

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (572)

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    sanctions, political crisis, Tarek William Saab, John Bolton, United States, Venezuela
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