Political violence escalating in Venezuela

There are reports that paratroopers are enroute to the Venezuelan border area with Colombia, in the Tachira state, where violent clashes are occurring between police and protesters. The president made a statement this week that he has “unleashed” security forces, including military, police and civilian militias to counter the protests.

Violent protests have occurred in the cities of Caracas, San Cristobal and Merida.

The demonstrations are motivated by inflation and economic concerns, food and other shortages, crime (a country with one of the world's worst homicide rates) and lack of security. Reports indicate increasingly restricted media reporting of any opposition concerns.

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