US Secretary of State John Kerry has criticised Venezuela's "unacceptable" use of force against anti-government protesters and political figures.
"Despite calls from thatcountry’s democratic opposition and the international community, the Venezuelangovernment has confronted peaceful protesters with force and in some cases witharmed vigilantes claiming to support the government ...This is not howdemocracies behave," Kerry said.
"The government’s use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence," he added.
He called on the Venezuelan government to release jailed dissidents "and initiate a process of genuine dialogue with the democratic opposition.
Venezuelan state television has said that a woman died after an ambulance taking her to hospital was blocked by opposition protesters in Caracas, bring to six the number of fatalities in a week of political unrest.
VTV said the victim, the mother of a VTV employee, was being rushed to hospital when she suffered a heart attack as her ambulance became stuck in gridlock created by anti-government protesters blocking roads.
The Venezuelan government has expelled three American officials over allegations the US is conspiring with the country's opposition leader.
Venezuela's foreign minister Elias Jaua today repeated accusations made by President Nicolas Maduro that the US is conspiring with Leopoldo Lopez to oust the socialist president during ongoing protests.
"This independent Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not accept threats, blackmail or conditions of any kind from any foreign country," he said.
The US has called the accusations "baseless and false".
The British man who was shot dead on Monday in Venezuela "loved" his adopted country, but had narrowly escaped death in a similar incident in 2000, his friend and business partner Luis Dominguez said in an interview.
Thomas Henry Berry and his ex-wife were killed in front of their five-year-old daughter when their car broke down on a highway.
A former Miss Venezuela and her British ex-husband were shot dead after their car broke down in the country on Monday night.
Their 5-year-old daughter survived the attack but was left with a bullet wound in her leg.
ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.
A former Miss Venezuela and her British ex-husband were shot dead after their car broke down in the country on Monday night. Their 5-year-old daughter survived the attack but was left with a bullet wound in her leg, the government and local media said.
Monica Spear, 29, who was also a soap opera actress, and Henry Berry, 39, died in an attempted robbery on the highway between Puerto Cabello and Valencia in central Venezuela.
The 2004 Miss Venezuela winner lived in the United States but was vacationing in her homeland.
The Foreign Office said they are, "aware of the death of a British national" and are providing consular assistance.
President Nicolas Maduro has been granted powers to rule by decree for a year, it was announced tonight.
The President said he needed the powers to fix the economy, but adversaries regard this as a power grab.
Maduro now has the power to pass laws without the approval of the Venezulan congress or a second democratic party.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters after the victory, Maduro said: "I want to thank the majority of patriotic and socialist lawmakers for approving this law that will let us advance, over the next 12 months, in defeating the economic war being waged against our people.
"Tonight has been a victory for the people! ... Who says the revolution is over?" he added, flanked by ministers, to applause from a crowd outside the Miraflores presidential palace.
Maduro, who showed a photo of a white-plaster wall with marks that appear like eyes and a nose, said Chavez's face had briefly appeared to workers building a new subway line in Caracas in the middle of the night.
Speaking on state television, the president said: "My hair stands on end just telling you about it. Who is that face? That gaze is the gaze of the fatherland that is everywhere around us, including in inexplicable phenomena."
Maduro - who was elected president in April after the death of Chavez - has previously spoken of seeing the spirit of his idol several times, including in the shape of a bird.
The US fugitive Edward Snowden has accepted an offer of asylum from Venezuela, according to the AFP news agency.
A lawmaker close to the Kremlin, Duma politician Alexey Pushkov, tweeted that Mr Snowden has accepted an offer of asylum.
A man in a red jacket ran onto the stage during Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's inauguration speech today and grabbed the microphone, but was quickly tackled by his bodyguards.
"The security has failed totally. They could have shot me easily," Maduro said after resuming his speech to an audience that included the leaders of Brazil, Iran and Argentina.