The Treasury Department imposed financial sanctions on a host of current and former senior Venezuelan officials on Wednesday and threatened to take more stringent action if President Nicolás Maduro proceeds with plans for a constituent assembly on Sunday that critics consider a danger to democracy.
More than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) away from Caracas, in the Great Savanna region, indigenous people blocked a road in the village of Kumarakapay. "It is necessary to prepare in order not to die of hunger", said to AFP Eugenia Santander, in the west of Caracas. "We recognize and defend any mechanism of citizen protest as democratic expression, as long as it remains attached to the constitution and laws".
"I'm staying here for 48 hours".
Near-daily protests against the Maduro government have grown increasingly desperate.
MUD's referendum set the stage for the crisis that will come to a head this week.
Some 70% of Venezuelans are opposed to the constituent assembly, according to the institute of survey, Datanalisis.
Uncertainty reigned on the eve of the strike, with some Venezuelans stocking up on provisions and thousands of others leaving completely.
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Earlier in the day, the foreign ministries of Mexico and Colombia, accused by Caracas of involvement in such negotiations with the Central Intelligence Agency, refuted the claims of Venezuela and said that they did not plan any actions against this country.
So far, Zerpa is the only one known to have been arrested. "To be safe, we prefer to cross".
The protest is anchored to the "Taking of Caracas" event planned for Friday, July 28, which will protest the executive branch's constant attempts to increase its own power.
The U.S.is among 13 countries in the regional Organization of American States urging Venezuela not to hold the vote.
"Now, the demand is through explicit and concrete threats that open up the possibility of cutting off some type of trade: the purchase of Venezuela's main export product, oil, which the United States buys and pays for in cash", said Tronco.
"We are proposing dialogue as the only solution and we support the Constituent Assembly as a principle of self-determination, and we stand in solidarity", she added.
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A Venezuelan military court has ordered the imprisonment of a lawyer that congress named to a shadow Supreme Court in a swipe at President Nicolas Maduro, a rights group and an opposition leader said on Monday.
Maduro has shown no sign of giving in, saying the constitutional rewrite will help solve Venezuela's political standoff and dire economy.
The Venezuelan people have been protesting this election in the streets throughout recent weeks and are now in the midst of a two-day national strike. The powerful Chavista politician Diosdado Cabello, a candidate for the Constituent Assembly, has already vowed to eliminate parliamentary immunity and remove the attorney general.
Inflation is projected to top 720 percent.
On Monday, Maduro accused the U.S. of plotting "regime change" in Caracas, after CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a comment about discussing "transition" in Venezuela with the authorities in Mexico and Colombia.
"That is not going to happen", Maduro pledged last week.
Mr. Trudeau's name has also been floated in discussions of a possible mediator for the Venezuelan crisis.
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He was released from prison to house arrest on July 8 following low-key talks with the government.