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Venezuelan president compares treatment of officials overseas to Nazi persecution

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A demonstrator holds a Venezuelan flag during a vigil for the victims of the clashes with the government's security forces during protest against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas Venezuela Wednesday

The Trump administration will take further action against "bad actors" in Venezuela if there are no changes in the country, a senior US government official said on Thursday. Opposition activists accuse President Maduro of mismanagement that has led to a deep economic crisis in the country and call for an early election.

FILE - In this April 19, 2017 file photo, Venezuelans protest, holding signs that say in Spanish "No more deaths, and "No more dictatorship", in Madrid, Spain".

Opposition supporters clash with riot security forces while rallying against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thu., May 18, 2017. The state prosecution service said on Twitter the boy was killed "during a demonstration" there.

Hyperinflation, street protests, food and medicine shortages, and a collapsed economy while Maduro is clinging to power are driving PDVSA and Venezuela closer to default.

"We've been down this road - with Syria, with North Korea, with South Sudan, with Burundi, with Burma".

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday held a closed-door session over the crisis in Venezuela at the request of the United States, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

Venezuelan Ambassador Rafael Ramirez strongly rejected the US bringing his country's political dispute to the United Nations' most powerful body and accused Washington of again trying "to interfere in our domestic issues".

The Trump administration has threatened further measures against Caracas, but sanctions so far have stopped short of hitting the oil sector in Venezuela, which is a major U.S. oil supplier.

Sweden's U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog said the Security Council "should be on top of issues that relate to preventive diplomacy".

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The state prosecutor's office confirmed his death, which pushed the death toll in six weeks of unrest to at least 43, equal to that of the 2014 protests.

The Florida Republican represents the state with the largest number of Venezuelans living in the United States, many of whom strongly oppose Maduro's socialist government.

Maduro has accused the opposition of plotting a coup against him with USA backing.

The U.S. Treasury Department is freezing the assets of eight members of Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice as a result of rulings that the U.S. says have usurped the power of that country's democratically elected National Assembly.

"We will not let the homeland fall into chaos", he said.

"The United States has shed light on the plan it is leading to intervene in Venezuela", she said.

"The US meddling stimulates the action of violent groups in Venezuela", he said, after showing photos of vandalism and violence he blamed on opposition groups.

However, the opposition coalition has rebuffed the move as a delay tactic.

Alfredo Romero, the head of the Venezuelan Penal Forum, told Radio Caracas Radio (RCR) that his group estimates that over 1,500 political prisoners are now behind bars in Venezuela.

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