Protests in Venezuela heat up as opposition further split over US sanction

Venezuelan security forces have arrested scores of people during a sweep of a busy Caracas avenue as protests against the government step up even as a rift opens up within the opposition over whether to back U.S. sanctions.

The protest and police response Wednesday comes as month-old negotiations aimed at easing tensions hangs in the balance. The opposition on Tuesday froze talks with President Nicolas Maduro's government, saying the climate for dialogue was impossible after the mass arrest last week of 200 student protesters who had been camping for weeks outside the offices of the United Nations.

Many political observers believe that by freezing the talks opposition leaders were caving to pressure from their own radical base, which is fuming over confusing statements by the top U.S. diplomat to Latin America.