Venezuela has witnessed demonstrations against and in support of the administration of President Nicolas Maduro over the past few weeks.
The protests began in the western states of Tachira and Merida and then spread to the capital, Caracas.
Three people have reportedly been killed by gunmen in Caracas.
The backdrop to the demonstrations against the government is the issue of crime and corruption. Opponents of the government say the government is responsible for economic woes, claiming that its policies have led to a shortage of essential goods and a high inflation rate.
President Maduro says the United States is backing the opposition to launch a coup d’état in the country.
Maduro has also blamed the opposition for the security and economic problems.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden has claimed that the political and social situation in Venezuela is alarming.
Washington accuses the Maduro administration of ‘inventing’ US conspiracies to distract attention from troubles in Venezuela.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has also slammed the Venezuelan president for using force against anti-government protesters. However, Maduro says Kerry’s remarks have given violent groups a green light to continue brutalities.
Venezuela’s two-time presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, who leads the opposition, has urged his supporters to take to the streets of Caracas and elsewhere around the country.
The Organization of American States (OAS) recently offered its full support for a peace initiative by the Venezuelan government and the continuation of a "national dialogue" in Venezuela. Twenty-nine OAS states voted in favor of the declaration with only the United States, Canada and Panama objecting.