Fatalities As Latest Protests In Venezuela Turn Violent

A 17-year-old boy and two men died in Venezuela after being shot during anti-government protests, prosecutors said Tuesday, bringing to 42 the number of people killed in six weeks of unrest.

On Monday, thousands of Venezuelans turned out in several cities around the country to stage a "Big National Sit-in", with the opposition calling on supporters to peacefully protest against the government of Nicolas Maduro, against the "fraud" of the recently-convened constitutional assembly and in defense of the prevailing Constitution.

Demonstrators clashed with police and national guardsmen, throwing rocks and setting an armored truck on fire.

At least 38 people have been killed and more than 750 injured in more than a month of unrest.

In Valencia, three policemen were injured, authorities said, with one mistakenly reported by the local Socialist Party governor as having been shot dead earlier in the day. More than three dozen people have died in a month and a half of protests. More than three dozen people have been killed, including a national guardsman and a police officer, hundreds injured and as many as 2,000 detained in almost seven weeks of protests.

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Opposition leaders demand immediate presidential elections.

"There's a real situation of crisis in the country, and the opposition says they will not give up until elections are called", Al Jazeera's John Holman, reporting from Cucuta, in Venezuela's border with Colombia, said. Representatives from 18 members of the Organization of American States approved a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss Venezuela's crisis for May 31 in Washington.

It wants early elections to remove him from office.

The talks on Venezuela were scheduled hours after it was reported that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had declared a new decree of "state of exception and economic emergency".

The wave of protests were triggered by a government move to nullify the opposition-controlled congress in late March, but the demonstrations have morphed into a general airing of grievances against the unpopular socialist administration.

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Venezuela had announced in late April that it would be leaving the OAS.

The incident took place in central Barinas state, the birthplace of former president Hugo Chavez. A group of flamenco dancers dressed in black performed for the crowds.

"We are against this fraudulent process", Capriles said on his radio broadcast.

Drawing rail-thin teenagers, elderly grandmothers and all ages in between, Venezuela's protests have taken on an nearly ritual-like progression: Demonstrators begin marching toward their chosen destination and are blocked by police or national guardsmen in armored trucks launching plumes of tear gas.

The government and the opposition have blamed each other of sending armed groups to sow violence in the protests.

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Venezuela is mired in an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food, medicine and other basics in the oil-rich country.

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