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Maduro says to skip UN General Assembly, aides will attend to condemn US sanctions

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he will skip this year's United Nations General Assembly in New York but two of his aides will be present at the event to condemn Washington's economic pressure against the South American country.

Maduro said Thursday that Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza were going to present UN Secretary General Antonio Guetrres with a petition signed by 12 million Venezuelans criticizing US sanctions against the oil-rich country.

“Here is the immense majority of the Venezuelan people saying no more blockade, no more sanctions,” Maduro said in a speech to the youth wing of the ruling Socialist Party.

“This year I will stay with you all working in Venezuela, safely and calmly.”

As part of its effort to replace Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido, the US has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Maduro’s government.

Venezuela plunged to chaos earlier this year after Guaido proclaimed himself as interim president and urged Maduro to resign.

The US has already confiscated Venezuela’s state oil assets based in America and has been channeling them to Guaido.

In early August, Trump issued an executive order, blocking “all property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela that are in the United States.”

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The measure, the first of its kind against a government in the Western Hemisphere in over 30 years, also banned transactions with the Venezuelan government.

It also prohibited “the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of” designated Venezuelan figures.

Maduro accuses Washington of meddling in Venezuela’s affairs and plotting to oust his legitimate government.

Last month, he vowed during a rally in Caracas that his nation was ready to resist and “defeat” Washington’s “imperialist blockade” against Venezuela.

Maduro traveled at the last minute to New York last year after saying he may not because of an assassination plot.

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