MADURO ON BRINK?
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - Amid sharply rising tensions between Washington and Caracas, the U.S.-backed opposition here sought on Wednesday to fill the streets with protesters and spark the beginning of a sustained uprising aimed at ousting President Nicolás Maduro from office. Overnight, the smaller-scale protests that began on Monday began to spread, with a throng of demonstrators in Bolivar state setting alight a statue of Hugo Chávez, the leftist firebrand who established Venezuela's socialist state and anointed Maduro as his successor before dying of cancer in 2013. By early Wednesday, at least one protester was reported dead. The actions against Maduro took place as U.S. officials sought to fan the flames against Maduro. In a video, Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday called Maduro a "dictator with no legitimate claim to power" and backed the opposition protests as "a call for freedom." Coming on the heels of a series of U.S. sanctions, the move prompted Maduro late Tuesday to order a "revision" of diplomatic ties with the United States. Source