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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuela's ongoing political crisis (All times local):
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro says he wants a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump — the same man he routinely ridicules as a crass imperial magnate.
In a lengthy address to the 545 members of a new, all-powerful constitutional assembly Thursday evening, Maduro instructed the nation's foreign minister to approach the U.S. about arranging a telephone conversation or meeting with Trump.
Maduro said he wants as strong a relationship with the U.S. as he has with Russia, saying, "Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand."
The remarks came shortly after Maduro forcefully warned the U.S. president that Venezuela "will never give in."
The Trump administration has called Maduro a "dictator" and issued sanctions against him and more than two dozen other former and current officials.
Credit Suisse is banning the trading and use of Venezuelan bonds, as the political crisis in the South American country escalates.
The bank will not trade, nor accept as collateral, two specific types of Venezuelan securities as well as any bonds the country issued from June 1 going forward, according to a company spokeswoman who was not authorized to give her name. Further, any businesses who wish to do business with Venezuela and deal in any assets there will have to go through additional screening.
The ban comes as the U.S. considers imposing economic sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing mounting international criticism over a crackdown on opponents and moves to consolidate power.
The Trump administration has sanctioned 30 government loyalists since April.
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