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Venezuelan opposition floods Caracas in vast anti-Maduro protest

Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 01:41

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are on the streets to protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, demanding a referendum to oust the socialist. Nathan Frandino reports.

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A sea of people stretched endlessly throughout Caracas. Together, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters marched, chanted and demanded a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles called the protest overwhelming. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER, HENRIQUE CAPRILES, SAYING: "The Venezuelans are fighting for a recall, for a constitutional solution. So that the people, through an election, can get the country out of crisis, and so we can have a solution." Protesters blame Maduro for problems such as high inflation, product shortages and rampant crime. The opposition hopes to trigger the referendum before the year ends, so new elections can be held. If a plebiscite is held in 2017, Maduro's vice president would take over. Maduro, who held his own rally, railed against the opposition. He accused them of plotting a coup, citing the arrests of at least a dozen activsts this week (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION LEADER, HENRIQUE CAPRILES, SAYING: "The Venezuelans are fighting for a recall, for a constitutional solution. So that the people, through an election, can get the country out of crisis, and so we can have a solution." Protesters blame Maduro for problems such as high inflation, product shortages and rampant crime. The opposition hopes to trigger the referendum before the year ends, so new elections can be held. If a plebiscite is held in 2017, Maduro's vice president would take over. Maduro, who held his own rally, railed against the opposition. He accused them of plotting a coup, citing the arrests of at least a dozen activists this week (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "We captured top members of the right wing who wanted a coup and who had plans to place bombs, had weapons, thousands of counterfeit dollars and thousands of actual dollars, who had plans to attack their own people." And he says no matter what, he and his supporters will not let his government be toppled.

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Venezuelan opposition floods Caracas in vast anti-Maduro protest

Thursday, September 01, 2016 - 01:41