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Detained Venezuela activist calls for more protests

A Venezuelan opposition leader jailed for a month urged supporters Tuesday to maintain their fight against socialist President Nicolas Maduro's protest-hit government. As the size of demonstrations seemed to start to wane, Leopoldo Lopez said in a handwritten letter from detention: "I send my deepest admiration of the Venezuelan people for its peaceful protest on the streets.

Capriles not linked to violence, Venezuelan gov't says

Caracas, Mar 18 (EFE).- Two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles was not part of the political violence "coordinated" by two other leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said Tuesday. Citing an unnamed informant, the minister told state television that Capriles rejected the plans hatched by Leopoldo Lopez and lawmaker Maria Corina Machado.

Capriles not linked to violence, Venezuelan gov't says

Caracas, Mar 18 (EFE).- Two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles was not part of the political violence "coordinated" by two other leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez said Tuesday. Citing an unnamed informant, the minister told state television that Capriles rejected the plans hatched by Leopoldo Lopez and lawmaker Maria Corina Machado.

Venezuela unrest toll rises as soldier is shot in head

By Daniel Wallis and Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuela National Guard captain died on Monday after being shot in the head during a demonstration, the military said, the 29th fatality in six weeks of clashes between protesters and security forces. General Padrino Lopez, head of the armed forces' strategic operational command, said the captain was shot late on Sunday at a street barricade set up by demonstrators in the central city of Maracay, in Aragua state.

Venezuelan president wants talks with U.S. on protests

Caracas, Mar 16 (EFE).- President Nicolas Maduro proposed in a speech carried on national radio and television that the United States name an emissary to deal with his government and Unasur regarding the national crisis that has left at least 28 people dead over the past month in Venezuela.

Venezuela central bank head acknowledges economic 'crisis'

By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Central Bank President Nelson Merentes acknowledged on Sunday that Venezuela was undergoing an "economic crisis" but said measures like a new market-based currency mechanism would help bring rapid improvements. "It's a crisis, but it's not a crisis of such deep dimensions as some analysts say," said Merentes, who is considered more of a reformist than other senior financial officials in President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Venezuela wants US to join 'peace commission' to end unrest

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged Washington on Saturday to join a "high-level commission" to promote peace after more than a month of deadly anti-government demonstrations. Maduro blames the United States for the riots, a charge US officials on Friday dismissed as "absurd." At least 28 people have been killed and 400 injured in the student-led protests that began February 4 in western Venezuela and spread to Caracas and other cities.

Tear gas, Molotov cocktails as Venezuela cracks down on demo

Anti-government demonstrators clashed for almost two hours Saturday with riot police who finally subdued them after President Nicolas Maduro's security forces cracked down. Venezuela has seen almost daily anti-government demonstrations over violent crime, shortages of essential goods such as toilet paper, and soaring inflation, in the most serious challenge yet for Maduro since he succeeded late socialist-populist Hugo Chavez last year.

Pro-government rally in Venezuela, Maduro eyes talks

Hundreds of supporters of President Nicolas Maduro's leftist government staged a colorful rally in the Venezuelan capital Saturday, as opponents called for more protests from their side. Maduro announced he would propose to the United States creating a high-level commission for bilateral talks -- after days of tenser than usual rhetoric between the old-time foes.

Venezuela's Maduro gives ultimatum to Caracas protesters

By Deisy Buitrago and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro warned protesters in Caracas on Saturday to clear a square they have made their stronghold, or face eviction by security forces. Plaza Altamira, in upscale east Caracas, has been a focus of anti-government protests and violence during six weeks of unrest around Venezuela that has killed 28 people.
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