France calls for credible international mediation to end Venezuela crisis

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Henrique Capriles, one of the leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, said Thursday his passport was annulled when he was at the Maiquetia airport, ready to travel to the United Nations office in NY to report human rights violations during mass anti-government protests in Venezuela.

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the South American nation of 30 million in protest against the Maduro's government, demanding elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign aid and autonomy for the opposition-led legislature. More than 40 people have been killed in nearly two months of unrest in Venezuela.

The military operation comes as President Nicolas Maduro faces mounting global pressure to hold elections and refrain from using tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters.

While Gonsalves did not name the countries said to be behind the efforts to topple Maduro, Almagro has the support of the organization's largest member states such as the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Colombia.

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". "There's great violence", Trump told a press conference with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Among those hit with sanctions was Maikel Moreno, a Maduro ally who became president of the 32-judge court in February.

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Ramirez stressed that Venezuela is not on the Security Council agenda and said many council members "disagree with the U.S." and back his government's position that it shouldn't be there. Trump said they discussed Venezuela. The court's constitutional chamber declared null and void eight National Assembly laws between January and October 2016, after just one such ruling in the previous 200 years, legal experts say.

Despite its vast oil reserves, Venezuela is suffering chronic shortages of food, medicine and other basic supplies. One was the approval of Maduro's budget and his appointment of two government sympathizers to the National Electoral Council, decisions that are supposed to require National Assembly approval.

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.

A boy and a man walk on a blocked highway during a national sit-in against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 15, 2017.

"We are the new Jews of the 21st century that Hitler pursued", Maduro said during the cabinet meeting. He called Venezuela's problems a domestic matter and said Maduro's government is trying to resolve them and will not allow any outside interference.

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