Venezuela

The Venezuelan government has cancelled the upcoming U.S. tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and its star conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who is also the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

El Nacional, a major Venezuelan paper, reported yesterday that the cancellation was ordered by the presidency.

Voice of America / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/2tX0x9X

Tensions continue to escalate in Venezuela after results from what many are calling a "sham" election granted a new legislative body the power to rewrite the Constitution.

The move is widely seen as a turning point for the oil-rich Latin American country – away from democracy, toward dictatorship.  

Updated 8:40 p.m. ET

Venezuelan security agents arrested two key opposition leaders in a midnight raid on their homes, making good on President Nicolas Maduro's promise to crack down on dissent following a vote that gave him broad authoritarian powers.

From Texas Standard:

Authorities say 10 people were killed in clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Venezuela on Sunday. The nation's president, Nicolas Maduro, called elections to choose a constituent assembly, which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and more.

Venezuela's ongoing political and economic crisis has taken a toll on daily life there.

A crash in oil prices and political instability under President Nicolas Maduro have led to food shortages, and that has prompted almost daily street protests by thousands of Venezuelans.

A 35-year-old protester named Carlos tells NPR's Audie Cornish the food situation is "pretty extreme." NPR is using only his first name for his safety.

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