Venezuela strike erupts into violence leaving 2 dead


July 22, 2017
A car is engulfed in flames, set on fire by anti-government demonstrations during clashes with National Guards in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Demonstrators walk amid tear gas fired by Bolivarian National Guards during clashes in the El Hatillo neighborhood on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, July 20, 2017.
National Guard soldiers clear a road block set up by anti-government protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, July 20, 2017.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP):

A nationwide strike against plans to rewrite the constitution shut down much of Venezuelan's capital Thursday before erupting into sporadic violence that left at least two young men dead.

President Nicolas Maduro pledged to forge ahead with reshaping Venezuela's government despite the protests and a US threat to levy economic sanctions if he continued.

A coalition of opposition groups called what it described as a "great march" for Saturday, returning to a strategy of direct confrontation with the government after a week of alternate tactics, like organising a nationwide protest vote against the constitutional rewrite.

In New York, a senior diplomat resigned from the Venezuelan delegation to the UN in what he called a protest of the Maduro's administration's widespread human rights violations.