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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.

One year after Chavez, Venezuela gropes for way forward

Hugo Chavez, the charismatic ex-paratrooper who for 14 years drove a socialist-inspired revolution in oil-rich Venezuela, died one year ago -- and his deeply divided country is in crisis. Violent street protests that have left 18 dead, worsening living conditions and a darkening national mood have piled pressure on Chavez's handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, and raised ominous questions about where the country is headed.

2 Dead in Venezuela protests

Caracas, Feb 12 (EFE).- At least two people died, 23 were injured and more than 25 arrested in protests on Wednesday in Venezuela, authorities said. Attorney General Luis Ortega Diaz confirmed to reporters in front of the destroyed facade of the AG's office the deaths of two people from gunshot wounds during the demonstrations. She spoke minutes after Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez had confirmed one of the deaths and said that a second fatality was likely. In addition, a number of police vehicles parked near the AG's office were burned by protesters.

2 Dead in Venezuela protests

Caracas, Feb 12 (EFE).- At least two people died, 23 were injured and more than 25 arrested in protests on Wednesday in Venezuela, authorities said. Attorney General Luis Ortega Diaz confirmed to reporters in front of the destroyed facade of the AG's office the deaths of two people from gunshot wounds during the demonstrations. She spoke minutes after Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez had confirmed one of the deaths and said that a second fatality was likely. In addition, a number of police vehicles parked near the AG's office were burned by protesters.

'Parallel governments' stoke polarized politics in Venezuela

By Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) - Opposition politician Ricardo Hernandez was elected mayor of Tariba, a small Venezuelan city near the border with Colombia, by a landslide. But he didn't have long to bask in his victory. In the days after December 8 municipal elections in which the opposition won 75 mayoralties, Hernandez discovered that the company that collects trash had stopped working - apparently on orders of his predecessor, a member of the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV).

Venezuela's socialists win majority in local polls

By Daniel Wallis and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro's government won a majority of votes in Venezuela's local elections on Sunday, disappointing the opposition and helping his quest to preserve the late Hugo Chavez's socialist legacy. With votes in from three-quarters of the nation's 337 mayoral races, the ruling party and allies had combined 49.2 percent support, compared with the opposition coalition and its partners' 42.7 percent, the election board said.

Venezuela's ruling party channels Chavez for municipal vote

Nine months after his death, Venezuela's ruling party is still running Hugo Chavez as its standard-bearer in upcoming municipal elections seen as an important test of strength for his lackluster successor Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelans go back to the polls Sunday, for the first time since Maduro's disputed election, to choose mayors and city council members in a country still unsettled by Chavez's death March 5 of cancer.

Venezuelan president gets expanded powers

Caracas, Nov 19 (EFE).- Venezuela's congress voted Tuesday to give President Nicolas Maduro the power to legislate by decree for the next 12 months. The leftist head of state said he needed the additional authority to battle corruption and remedy economic imbalances in the oil-rich Andean nation. Maduro's PSUV party has a majority in the National Assembly.

Venezuela parliament backs Maduro rule by decree bid

Venezuela's legislature gave initial backing Thursday to a measure granting extraordinary powers over the economy to President Nicolas Maduro, following his controversial attempt to forcibly cut consumer prices. Maduro's supporters, who hold the majority in the National Assembly, approved the measure which would allow him to govern by decree, without having to seek parliamentary approval. The measure garnered 99 votes in the 165 member chamber -- precisely the three-fifths vote needed for approval.

Venezuela lawmakers debate expanded powers for Maduro

Venezuela's legislature opens debate Thursday on a measure that would give leftist President Nicolas Maduro extraordinary powers over the economy following a controversial attempt to forcibly cut consumer prices. Maduro's forces, which hold the majority in the National Assembly, hoped for a parliamentary vote before the end of the week that would pave the way for him to govern by decree. He requested the special powers last month, saying he needs them to fight corruption and combat opponents who are waging "economic warfare" against his government.
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