Trump denounces Venezuelan ‘dictatorship,' calls for release of political prisoners

Trump denounces Venezuelan ‘dictatorship,' calls for release of political prisoners
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President Trump is denouncing the actions of Venezuela's "dictatorship" and calling for Venezuela to release all political prisoners.

"The United States condemns the actions of the Maduro dictatorship. Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledezma are political prisoners being held illegally by the regime," Trump said in a statement late Tuesday.

"The United States holds Maduro — who publicly announced just hours earlier that he would move against his political opposition — personally responsible for the health and safety of Mr. Lopez, Mr. Ledezma, and any others seized."

Trump in the statement reiterated the United States' calls for the "immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners."

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Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, two political opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, were taken from their homes earlier this week. The two had previously been under house arrest, CNN reported.

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Maduro to its Specially Designated National sanctions list. All of his assets were frozen and U.S. residents are prohibited from financial transactions with him.

Maduro chided the U.S. for the sanctions, saying he doesn't "take orders from the empire."