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(CARACAS, Venezuela) — A nationwide strike against plans to rewrite the constitution shut down much of the Venezuelan capital Thursday before erupting into sporadic violence that left at least two young men dead.

President Nicolas Maduro pledged to forge ahead with reshaping Venezuela’s government despite the protests and a U.S. threat to levy economic sanctions if he continued. A coalition of opposition groups called what it described as a “great march” for Saturday, returning to a strategy of direct confrontation with the government after a week of alternative tactics like organizing a nationwide protest vote against the constitutional rewrite.

In New York, a senior diplomat resigned from the Venezuelan delegation to the U.N. in what he called a protest of the Maduro’s administration’s widespread human rights violations.

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