At least 2 people have been shot dead in Venezuela in protests against the government.
Authorities had already reported five other people killed, including a boy of 13, in protests around the country earlier this month.
Tens of thousands of people are pouring into the main thoroughfares of Caracas in the latest anti-government demonstration in the Venezuelan capital. Most citizens were repressed by the National Bolivarian Guard, the state's armed military forces.
Some disturbances continued into the night, with reports of looted bakeries, supermarkets and food centers in western Caracas.
Today without fear millions of Venezuelans mobilized to defend the constitution, opposition governor and two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said in an emailed statement. Bread had become all but impossible to find at many Venezuelan bakeries, which said Mr.
On the capital's northwest side, a student was shot in the head by motorcycle-riding gunmen who also threw tear gas canisters into a crowd of protesters, witnesses told the AFP news agency.
On Monday, 11 Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, called on Venezuela's government to respect the constitutional right to peaceful protest.
At a rally Wednesday afternoon where he sang and danced with other government officials, Maduro accused Julio Borges, the president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, of trying to foment a coup and blamed him for the day's violence.
Home to the world's largest oil reserves, Venezuela has skidded to the brink of economic collapse as low crude prices have laid bare its overwhelming dependence on its chief export.
A demonstrator carries Venezuela's flag while clashing with riot police during the so-called "mother of all marches" against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela Apr 19, 2017.
"I have a two-year-old son to support and I am unemployed, and it is all Maduro s fault".
The three deaths bring to eight the number of people killed since protests began three weeks ago over the Supreme Court's decision to strip the opposition-controlled Congress of its last remaining powers, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism.
"We want to get out of all this oppression and dictatorship, all the mistreatment we have had - the hunger, the kids dying in the countryside, the poverty", another protester, an unemployed school teacher named Libertad Diaz, told Phil.
Maduro, 54, called on his backers to stage counter-demonstrations in Caracas on Wednesday.
They have galvanized the often divided opposition in its efforts to force Maduro from power.
The government last year abruptly postponed regional elections the opposition were heavily favoured to win and stopped a petition drive to force a referendum seeking the president's removal before elections late next year.
"We were on a motorbike and they were following us, shooting", her boyfriend told Reuters.
The photos below, many of them from Wednesday, show the intensity with which Venezuelans have taken to the streets in recent days.
According to a survey by polling firm Venebarometro, seven in 10 Venezuelans disapprove of Maduro, whose term does not end until 2019.
Still, Maduro said that he was willing to hold talks with the opposition even after Wednesday's clashes.
New administrations in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru notably started speaking up more about Venezuela in the past year, in particular calling for the government to restore democratic order and hold regional elections.