The crisis in Venezuela is escalating at President Nicolas Maduro attempts what his political enemies are painting as a bid to buy time. The unpopular socialist Maduro sitting down with the opposition Sunday. Reuters Andean Bureau Chief Andrew Cawthorne is in Caracas.>> With widespread food shortages and soaring prices, many people are actually having to skip meals.
Also, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent days to protest against the government. It's in that context that President Maduro has reiterated his appeal to the opposition to come and sit down with him.>> The opposition says 17 years of socialist rule have wrecked the economy of the OPEC nation, as oil prices fail to rebound.
The turmoil has prompted Maduro's opposition to call for a referendum against him this year, which could lead to a new presidential election.>> They say that this is just a time wasting measure by the government. And that a much better way forward would be to simply allow a vote, a recall referendum.
>> Maduro's government says the nation's elite, backed by the US, wants a coup.