CARACAS, Venezuela – Despite four months of deadly protests and the threat of U.S. sanctions, Venezuela on Saturday found itself 24 hours away from a consolidation of government power that appeared certain to drag the OPEC nation deeper into a crisis that has entire neighborhoods battling police and paramilitaries while the poor root for scraps in piles of trash.
In the opposition strongholds of eastern Caracas, teenagers manned barricades of tree branches, garbage and barbed wire torn from nearby buildings. Clashes with police began Friday afternoon and lasted into the night. The violence has left at least 113 dead.
The rest of the capital was calm. Across the city, residents said they wanted President Nicolas Maduro out of power but didn't want to risk their lives or livelihoods taking on his government.