Venezuela is in the grips of a major economic crisis. Inflation is soaring and energy blackouts and food shortages have become part of daily life. Two-thirds of Venezuelans want Nicolas Maduro to go.
The former oil czar has claimed he was removed for expressing "opinions" critical of the Venezuelan president. Analysts have warned of a growing purge as Nicolas Maduro gears up for presidential elections in 2018.
Venezuela has arrested a former minister and ex-chief of the state oil company on corruption and sabotage charges. But opposition lawmakers have warned the arrests form part of the president's plans to consolidate power.
Venezuela's government and opposition have restarted talks to resolve the country's political crisis, but expectations are low. Economic ills have pushed the government back to the table, but concessions appear unlikely.
Images of unarmed protesters being beaten by police were broadcast around the world this summer. But little has been said about the thousands who were dragged into custody.
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