The Venezuelan Apocalypse: a 21-year-old was torched by protesters

More than 50 people have died in almost two months of almost daily protests in Venezuela.

While demonstrators are decrying current President Nicolas Maduro for the country's triple-digit inflation, rising crime and shortages of food and medicine, they have also destroyed at least five statues commemorating Chavez, Maduro's mentor and the founder of Venezuela's "Bolivarian revolution".

The executive order issued Thursday marked the second time the U.S. has sanctioned leaders of Venezuela's socialist government since Donald Trump became president this year.

The chief of the embattled South American nation's electoral council said Tuesday officials were looking to hold elections for President Nicolas Maduro's constituent assembly tasked with rewriting the nation's constitution in July.

The fires come after at least one person was killed during protests in Barinas on Monday.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

The most recent working class who made a decision to join the demonstrations from Caracas against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is the medical staff.

On Monday, opposition supporters and doctors in white robes tried to march to the Health Ministry in Caracas to demand access to proper treatment amid major shortages of medicines ranging from painkillers to chemotherapy drugs.

Opposition lawmakers called a session for yesterday to discuss the violence. Maduro said Zaragoza was being treated.

"Persistent and increasingly violent unrest will eventually prompt key stakeholders to abandon Maduro and negotiate a rapid transition that sets a timetable for new elections; the precise timing is impossible to predict, however", the Eurasia Group political consultancy said in a note to clients on Tuesday. Over and over in the last weeks, troops and police have faced off with masked youths hurling stones and Molotov cocktails.

The opposition-led National Assembly wants a referendum asking Venezuelans if they approve of Maduro's constituent assembly plan.

In many places, schools are canceled, public transport is halted, and streets are barricaded. Some neighbourhoods look like war zones after nighttime pillaging of bakeries and warehouses. Traffic was blocked in various parts of the capital early on Wednesday.

Venezuela's Barinas state saw an outbreak of violence in which demonstrators set late former President Hugo Chavez's childhood home on fire following the killing of a 19-year-old protester, an opposition politician said.

Seven people died in protests there in the last few days, according to the state prosecutor.

Elected in 2013, Maduro has resisted opposition efforts to remove him since January 2016.

The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported that multiple photos began surfacing on social media of the burned down home on Monday evening.

In a move set to further inflame the opposition, Maduro said the constitutional body would sit in the chamber of the National Assembly legislature-the only state institution nominally controlled by his opponents.

  • Leroy Wright