New death in Venezuela puts toll at level of 2014 unrest

A congressional aide and a US official say the Trump administration plans to impose new sanctions against Venezuelan officials for alleged human rights violations as it grows more concerned about the crackdown on anti-government protesters. Opposition leaders are demanding immediate presidential elections.

Clashes have erupted across the country during protests in anger at Maduro's handling of an economic and political crisis.

Security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing gangs, and crowds smashed their way into shops and offices in San Cristobal, the state capital, and elsewhere.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez responded on Twitter by repeating Maduro's allegation that the United States was out to topple his government.

Capriles, the 44-year old leader of the center-right Justice First party, is the most prominent opponent of socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

"We haven't really seen a problem like that... in decades, in terms of the kind of violence that we're witnessing", Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Word of the new sanctions came as President Donald Trump expressed dismay at how once-prospero us Venezuela was now mired in poverty, saying "it's been unbelievably poorly run". But sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major United States oil supplier.

Top military commanders announced they were sending 2,000 national guardsmen and 600 troopers from special operation forces to Tachira, a mountainous state along Venezuela's border with Colombia where Guerrero and two others have been killed during protests since Monday. All of those targeted will have their assets frozen within U.S. jurisdiction, and American citizens will be barred from doing business with them, the Treasury Department said.

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"The US meddling stimulates the action of violent groups in Venezuela", he said, after showing photos of vandalism and violence he blamed on opposition groups.

Venezuela's United Nations ambassador Rafael Ramirez accused the U.S. of encouraging violent elements within Venezuela seeking to topple the Maduro government.

But Jose Colina, who founded and directs the Organization of Venezuelans in Exile, said the public humiliations are a form of "justice".

The number of people killed in seven weeks of opposition violence is not clear, with most putting it in the low forties - rivalling the 43 deaths in 2014's year-long "Guarimba" regime-change riots.

They pledged to work together to help the Venezuelan people. He said Maduro's government also believes in CELAC and UNASUR, which comprises 12 South American nations.

Rubio said he hopes Trump will impose further sanctions in the future.

The United Nations Security Council on May 17 turned its attention to the crisis in Venezuela.

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