Venezuelan comedian Laureano Marquez performs a stand-up routine at a theater in Caracas last year. Marquez says the government is now cracking down on comedians who make jokes about the government and the country's economic problems. Christian Veron/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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A woman holds up a blanket with the portrait of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma during a demonstration on Feb. 20 to protest his detention. He was arrested on charges of planning a coup, which he denies. He is one of three opposition mayors who have been jailed; more than 30 face criminal charges. Miguel Gutierrez/EPA/LANDOV hide caption

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President Obama says new sanctions will target Venezuelan figures who have helped repress human rights. Here, opposition leader Maria Corina Machado (center) marched with opponents of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas to mark International Women's Day. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is welcomed by Saudi Crown Prince Salman in Riyadh on Sunday. The meeting was part of Maduro's diplomatic tour of OPEC members to discuss falling oil prices, which have hit Venezuela's economy hard. Reuters /Landov hide caption

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People queue outside a store to buy home appliances at a preferential price in Caracas last November. The country is suffering from many shortages of basic goods. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Cuban President Fidel Castro (left) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Barinas, Venezuela, in 2000. The two formed a close partnership, which has continued with their successors. However, the prospect of normal ties between the U.S. and Cuba may also have an impact on relations between Cuba and Venezuela. Jose Goitia/AP hide caption

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Actor Samuel Lange Zambrano plays Junior, a boy who becomes obsessed with relaxing his hair. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Government-subsidized goods at a state-run market in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2012. Smuggling of cheap groceries into neighboring Colombia is so rampant that the government plans to fingerprint shoppers. Fernando Llano/AP hide caption

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A demonstrator confronts riot policemen during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, on Feb. 22. Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raises his fist after the National Assembly gave him wide-ranging powers to rule by decree for one year on Nov. 19, 2013. With the economy struggling, demonstrators have taken to the streets the streets. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Leopoldo López, an ardent opponent of Venezuela's socialist government facing an arrest warrant after President Nicolas Maduro ordered his arrest on charges of homicide and inciting violence, kisses his wife Lilian Tintori, before turning himself in to authorities on Tuesday. Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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This photo, which witnesses say shows Venezuelan beauty queen Genesis Carmona being evacuated from the scene of a protest on Tuesday, is ricocheting around the Web. She died after being shot. /Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (in white shirt) as he turned himself over to police on Tuesday in Caracas. Cristian Hernandez /Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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At the official rate, 1 U.S. dollar is worth 6.3 Venezuelan bolivars. But in a country with runaway inflation, the black market rate is about 60 bolivars to the dollar. This has made airfares extremely cheap for those using currency acquired on the black market. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A woman and her child are barred from a supermarket that was closing its doors to ration milk products in Caracas on Nov. 15. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected after the death of Hugo Chavez in March, is facing growing criticism over economic problems that include shortages of basic goods and inflation that's topped 50 percent this year. Jorge Silva/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Venezuelan opposition leader and Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles speaks during a mass protest in Caracas on Saturday. Leo Ramirez /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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