A woman holds her head as she waits in line outside a supermarket to buy food in Caracas.
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Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving.Three years ago, Valero dragged his 24-year-old cousin, Bassil da Costa, to join thousands of others in a nationwide protest against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro.As a result, the young people who would be the natural fuel for any street protest movement are not turning out.Venezuelans accounted for more U.S. asylum requests than any other country last year – more than 18,000, compared to a few hundred in 2013 .Twice last year, the opposition rallied hundreds of thousands of people to protest the Maduro administration.The government has successfully made use of legal loopholes to hobble the opposition without much international protest. For much of last spring and summer, the opposition appeared to be getting back on track, collecting some 2 million signatures – 10 times the required minimum – to force a recall referendum against Maduro. The opposition may have found a more willing partner in U.S. President Donald Trump, who abruptly broke with the Obama administration's policy of relative restraint toward Venezuela. Trump met with protester Lopez's wife in the White House and slapped drug sanctions on Maduro's vice president within 30 days of taking office.
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