U.S. orders embassy families to leave Venezuela, as situation heats up before key vote

U.S. orders embassy families to leave Venezuela, as situation heats up before key vote
Starving Venezuelans sort through trash (Image: YouTube screen grab via Associated Press)

[Ed. – It’s hard to discern from here exactly how effective the opposition to Maduro and his constitution-busting campaign can be.  But the impending throw-down basically IS the one that will write Venezuela’s future, determining whether there can be any walk-back, or if a full-scale suspension of all semblance of the deteriorating status quo is inevitable.  A painful crisis point — and one that outside actors like Cuba, Russia, and Iran are unlikely to remain on the sidelines for, if Maduro looks to be nearing collapse.]

The U.S. government ordered family members of employees at its embassy in Venezuela to leave on Thursday as a political crisis deepened ahead of a controversial vote critics contend will end democracy in the oil-rich country.

Violence continued to rage on the street, with another seven people killed during the latest opposition-led strike against President Nicolas Maduro’s planned election for a powerful new Constituent Assembly on Sunday.

Adding to Venezuela’s growing international isolation, Colombian airline Avianca suddenly stopped operations in the country on Thursday due to “operational and security limitations”.

Maduro’s critics were planning to pile more pressure on the unpopular leftist leader by holding roadblocks across the nation dubbed “The Takeover of Venezuela” on Friday.

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