Demonstrators run away from a riot security force member at a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Venezuela's opposition kicked off a second day of a general strike Thursday after a day of street protests left three people dead, in an intensifying showdown over President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite the nation's constitution.With the approach of controversial elections Sunday to pick a 545-seat Constituent Assembly to rewrite the constitution, the opposition and the Maduro government skirmished in the streets.In announcing the U.S. sanctions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said America was "standing by the Venezuelan people in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy".He warned that anybody elected to the Constituent Assembly could also face U.S. sanctions. Thirteen countries in the 35-member Organization of American States, a regional influentialpolitical bloc, urged Maduro to suspend Sunday's election, saying it bluntly amounted to a "dismantling of democratic institutionality".
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