Nicolas Maduro Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro celebrates the results of Sunday's referendum to elect members of his constituent assembly. For this "fundamental assault on the freedoms of the Venezuelan people," the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on Maduro on Monday. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

An anti-Maduro demonstrator waves the Venezuelan flag at a protest in the capital, Caracas, on Wednesday. The government banned such demonstrations nationwide for the next five days, as the country approaches a Sunday vote on delegates for Maduro's constituent assembly, which would lead a rewrite of the constitution. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuelans began blocking deserted streets Wednesday as the opposition held a two-day strike opposing President Nicolas Maduro's planned vote for a new Constituent Assembly. A banner reading "The Constituent Is Hunger," is seen in Caracas' Petare neighborhood on Wednesday. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Activists celebrate Sunday in Caracas after voting in an opposition-organized referendum on President Nicolas Maduro's plan to rewrite Venezuela's Constitution. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

During a protest in Caracas this week, an opposition activist stands near graffiti against a proposal by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the constitution. A political and economic crisis has spawned often violent demonstrations by protesters demanding Maduro's resignation. Federico Parra /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Federico Parra /AFP/Getty Images

A truck burns behind a man perched near a traffic barrier in Caracas, Venezuela, on Saturday. In more than 60 days of unrest, at least 60 people have died in violence related to protests against President Nicolas Maduro. Fernando Llano/AP hide caption

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Fernando Llano/AP

A protester pushes into a phalanx of riot police Friday in Caracas, Venezuela. Demonstrators blame President Nicolas Maduro for the country's economic crisis, food shortages and indefinitely delayed elections. More than three dozen people have died in a month and a half of protests. Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Hooded demonstrators equipped with helmets, gas masks and makeshift shields face off against riot police during a protest in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, on Wednesday. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

A demonstrator against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government wears a mask calling for civil disobedience during a protest in Caracas on Wednesday. Ronaldo Schenidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ronaldo Schenidt/AFP/Getty Images

A protester stares down riot police behind his gas mask, during demonstrations against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Thursday. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Juan Pablo Guanipa is running for governor of the western Venezuelan state of Zulia, and as he campaigns in Maracaibo, the state capital, people complain of food shortages and hyperinflation. John Otis for NPR hide caption

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John Otis for NPR

Opposition Parties In Venezuela Prepare For Elections, Hoping They Will Come

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Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has been under criticism following a Supreme Court decision nullifying the country's opposition-run legislature. The court reversed that decision Saturday. Fernando Llano/AP hide caption

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Fernando Llano/AP

Earlier this month in Caracas, Venezuela, people protested conditions set by electoral authorities for a recall referendum to go forward against President Nicolas Maduro. Alejandro Cegarra/AP hide caption

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Alejandro Cegarra/AP

Activists opposed to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro march in Caracas on Thursday. The opposition and the government headed into a crucial test of strength with massive marches for and against a referendum to recall Maduro. Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro waves to supporters as he walks with his wife Cilia Flores in the capital Caracas on July 5, Venezuela's Independence Day. As the country's crisis has deepened, Maduro has lost support, but the military remains on his side. Ariana Cubillos/AP hide caption

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Ariana Cubillos/AP

Venezuela's Embattled President Loses Support, But Clings To Power

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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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Christian Veron/Reuters/Landov

It's No Joke: Venezuela Cracks Down On Comedians

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Congress Issues New Sanctions Against Venezuelan Leaders 'On The Ropes'

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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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Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Has Little Leverage To Stop Political Violence In Venezuela

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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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Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images