US Vice President Joe Biden says Venezuela's political and social situation is alarming and accuses Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of inventing conspiracies by Washington to distract attention from the South American country's troubles.
Maduro has faced several weeks of nationwide student-led protests that he claims are an attempt by far-right instigators to overthrow him. The demonstrations have been joined by mostly middle-class Venezuelans fed up with inflation that reached 56 percent last year and one of the highest murder rates in the world. The government says 21 people have died in the street protests since Feb. 12. (AP)