Cash-strapped Venezuela a major funder of Trump inauguration

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A 17-year-old boy died after being shot on Wednesday during massive protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the sixth person killed this month in a mounting political crisis.

By several media accounts, hundreds of thousands of anti-Maduro demonstrators flooded city streets to protest bread scarcity, ballooning inflation - which several estimates peg at triple digits - and what they see as an increasingly dictatorial regime.

Recent moves by Maduro to tighten his grip on power and ban Capriles from politics have escalated the country s political and economic crisis and sparked global cries of concern.

De La Rosa spoke to one man, who said his mother has gone without food or medicine.

In the western city of San Cristobal, a 23-year-old woman identified as Paola Ramirez was shot dead by similar groups, according to Mayor Patricia Gutierrez, who said the groups circled demonstrators on motorcycles as they were heading home from the demonstration. "I have to send her food (and) toilet paper from here, from the United States, so she can have it there".

Records from Trump's inaugural committee released Wednesday show that Citgo Petroleum, a USA affiliate of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, was one of the biggest corporate donors to the swearing-in ceremony.

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The embattled president is blamed for Venezuela's economic woes while the opposition also regrets his lack of tolerance for dissent.

On Tuesday, 11 Latin American nations on Tuesday asked Venezuela to hold elections to overcome the crisis.

Venezuela's chief prosecutor said she is investigating the Wednesday shooting incident amid conflicting reports over the cause of death.

Maduro's opposition is also demanding new elections, which were indefinitely postponed past year - mere months after Maduro also canceled a recall referendum that could have ousted him from power.

At least two protesters were killed on Wednesday in Venezuela as clashes broke out on the sidelines of a mass anti-government rally that the opposition billed "the mother of all marches".

These transactions come at a time when PdVSA and the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro is desperate for cash as oil revenues shrink and civil unrest grows. Instead of taking steps to reduce tensions with the opposition, he has taken a confrontational tone with members of the opposition and protesters, whom he calls "vandals and terrorists".

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Beyond disqualifying parties, the opposition's most popular leader in polls, Leopoldo López, marked three years in prison in February.

The Venezuelan leader said authorities had arrested more than 30 protesters engaged in violence, including an alleged leader of a group of rioters who was caught with explosives. It also reminded the Venezuela security forces "of their legal and constitutional responsibilities to protect, not prevent, peaceful demonstrations". The government last year abruptly postponed regional elections the opposition was heavily favoured to win, and cut off a petition drive to force a referendum seeking Maduro's removal before elections late next year.

In Caracas, riot police faced off against angry protesters with tear gas used against the crowd.

The opposition has accused Maduro of letting state forces and gangs of armed thugs violently repress demonstrators as he resists opposition pressure for him to quit.

"The US government, the state department, have given the green light, the approval for a coup process to intervene in Venezuela", Maduro said in a televised address Tuesday, according to The Guardian.

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