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Explaining the protests in Venezuela

Explaining the protests in Venezuela

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Venezuela Political Crisis

A man shouts anti-government slogans during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, April 20, 2017. Venezuela's opposition is calling for another day of protests against President Maduro after mass demonstrations Wednesday resulted in two deaths. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela is in the midst of a violent protest movement that has left eight dead this month as the country's deeply unpopular socialist administration struggles to stay in power and a newly energized opposition calls for immediate presidential elections.

The protests began three weeks ago after the Supreme Court issued a decision stripping the opposition-controlled congress of its last remaining powers. President Nicolas Maduro later asked the court to walk back that move amid a storm of international criticism. But the attempt to take over congress has unleashed long-simmering anger amid an economic crisis that has a majority of Venezuelans skipping meals and even losing weight.

Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets again Thursday, after the government seized a General Motors plant in its first such seizure of the major company in two years.

A look at how the protests started and the options for the future:

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