Nicolas Maduro

Right-wing protests hit the streets of Caracas and other cities across Venezuela — and in some cases turned violent, attacking police and other targets. The protests were part of a May 18 national day of action to demand that electoral authorities speed up the process of scheduling a recall referendum against left-wing President Nicolas Maduro. The national mobilisation came after right-wing leader Henrique Capriles gave a press conference on May 17 in which he invoked violence and called for the country's armed forces to “pick a side”.

Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters on May 15 that to increase productivity and help alleviate scarcity of basic products facing the South American nation, all businesses and factories closed down by their owners would be seized and handed over to their workers so production could be restarted. “A stopped factory [is] a factory turned over to the people,” Maduro said. “The moment to do it has come, I'm ready to do it to radicalise the Revolution.”

Venezuela's right-wing opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), has officially launched its signature collection campaign to force a recall referendum this year against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.  Thousands of opposition supporters flocked to sign the petition in public squares across the country on April 27 after MUD spokespeople confirmed they had received the official go-ahead from Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE). 
Photo: Albaciudad.org. The Venezuelan Supreme Court unanimously ruled on April 11 that a controversial “amnesty law” passed by the country's right-wing opposition-controlled parliament is unconstitutional, Venezuela Analysis said the next day.
Photo: Venezuelanalysis.com. Venezuelans took to the streets on April 14 to protest a new housing law proposed by the new right wing-controlled assembly that seeks to privatise public housing. TeleSUR correspondent in Caracas Iain Bruce reported: “Government supporters are protesting against a law passed by parliament to allow public housing to be sold.”
Members of Commune Alberto Lovera in Anzoategui state taking part in their communal fishing enterprise. Photo from Venezuela Analaysis.
United States President Barack Obama renewed an executive order, first issued a year ago, on March 3 that declares Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”, TeleSUR English said the next day. The order allows the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela. In protest, Venezuela has withdrawn its charge d'affaires, Maximilian Arvelaez, from the United States, TeleSUR English said on March 9.
TeleSUR English: Peace, unity and prosperity was the message on March 5, which marked the third anniversary of the death of Venezuela's late socialist president Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of a National Productive Corporation on February 22, as part of a new socialist enterprise system aimed at coordinating efforts among existing state, communal and mixed firms. Speaking from the Ana Maria Campo Petrochemical Complex in Zulia state, the socialist leader said the new entity would be tasked with unifying the more than 1000 public enterprises in a “single vision of planning, management, productivity, and maximum efficiency”.
The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador. CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

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