Deadly violence erupted around a controversial vote held in Venezuela on Sunday, with a candidate to the assembly being elected shot dead in his home and troops firing weapons to clear protesters in Caracas.
Ahead of next Sunday's election for a 500-plus member assembly to rewrite the constitution and give the president more power, the opposition also plans a general strike — the second in weeks — on Wednesday and Thursday and a big protest march on Friday.
Over a third of Venezuelan voters turned out Sunday in an unofficial referendum — and nearly all voted "No" to President Nicolás Maduro's plans to rewrite the constitution. Now the opposition is calling a nationwide strike.
The call to polls — described as a "plebiscite" by the opposition, but "illegal" by the government — is over President Nicolas Maduro's intention to have a citizens' body elected to redraft the country's basic law.
At one of Caracas' biggest public hospitals, most bathrooms are closed. Patients fill jugs from a tiny tap on the ground floor that sometimes has a trickle of water. Operations are postponed or canceled.
Economists say the plan announced on Friday is likely to escalate the crisis facing the once-prosperous country that is now suffering from Soviet-style product shortages and a mass exodus of citizens fleeing for nearby South American countries.
How do you stay connected during a crisis? That’s the dilemma facing Venezuelans as the country experiences its biggest uprising in years. Some people are relying on new, lower-profile apps, more than Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch.