The Venezuelan Minister of Defense, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, warned Friday that the country is on the brink of "armed insurrection" after almost 40 days of protests by the opposition.
The country's military chief made comments to an audience of army cadets and civilians in Caracas during a productivity fair.
The protests for the government create "annoyance and chaos," said Padrino Lopez, while adding that it is "time to end such violence, death and blood." Protests since the beginning of April have left at least 36 dead.
In Venezuela, the opposition has a "criminal strategy", with protests that "dissolve into violent clashes", said Elias Jaua, president of the commission for the National Constituent Assembly (ANC).
For the minister, Venezuela must create a "great space for national dialogue, with the economic matter at the forefront," to restart economic motors, such as food, health and hygiene.
Padrino Lopez called to recover a "serious country, where one can leave their home, take their car, the bus, the subway, arrive at work and produce for their well-being and for the people of Venezuela."
The Venezuela Sovereign Production Fair will run until May 7, showing the productive successes of rural and urban entrepreneurs. It also seeks to provide options for the country to reduce its dependence on oil revenue.