Foes of President Nicolas Maduro said more than seven million Venezuelans cast symbolic votes rejecting his plan to retool the constitution in a strong but not overwhelming showing that left the opposition facing tough choices two weeks before the socialist leader seeks to reshape the political system.
The United Nations called on Venezuela's government to let people take part in an unofficial referendum on the constitution on Sunday and make sure security forces do not use excessive force against protesters.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sent what he called a message of “peace and rectification” to freed dissident Leopoldo Lopez, just hours after his release Saturday following more than three years in prison.
A crowd of people believed to have been the supporters of the Venezuelan government have stormed the opposition-held Congress in the capital, Caracas, beating and injuring lawmakers in the latest escalation of violence in the Latin American country.
Venezuelan opposition lawmakers filed fresh court cases against planned crisis reforms, raising pressure on the government in a deadly political struggle after a similar challenge by a senior official.
Javier Farje, a Latin America affairs expert, believes the meddling of the United States in Venezuela has become “open and shameless,” saying that Washington is seeking to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.