Venezuela investigates shooting of Caracas police chief, death toll at 26

Three other people were killed on Monday in the latest day of nationwide protests by opponents demanding elections to remove Maduro from office.

Previous attempts to reach the city center have degenerated into clashes between riot police and stone-throwing protesters.

A new round of opposing marches have been organized in Venezuela Wednesday, with plans for both opposition supporters and socialist youth backing the Maduro government to take to the streets in Caracas.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez says President Nicolas Maduro will send a letter Thursday to the Washington-based OAS renouncing its membership in the hemispheric body.

A man was shot dead on Tuesday at a political demonstration in Venezuela's western state of Lara, bringing to 26 the number of deaths since protests against the socialist government began a month ago. A statement from the organization says the USA and 15 other nations called for the session.

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Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have flooded the streets over the last month to demand an end to Maduro's presidency.

"Maduro is a dictator with close ties to terror-sponsoring regimes, and is now promising a "gun for every militiaman" as his thugs counter the Venezuelan people's peaceful pro-democracy protests with violence and lethal force", said Sen. The ruling was later partially reversed amid a storm of global criticism. The protests have frequently ended in violent confrontations with security forces, which have used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, and there also have been clashes with pro-government groups.

On Sunday, a 21st death was linked to the unrest that began nearly a month ago over the Supreme Court's decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers.

The opposition, which blames Maduro, the army, and the national guard for the recent violence in the country, has called for an early presidential election.

Amid the unrest, global pressure on Venezuela to schedule delayed regional elections and free political activists has been steadily mounting at the OAS and in other regional forum. It excludes Canada and the U.S.


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