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'Democracy, Yes! Dictatorship, No.' Venezuelans Demand Maduro Step Down


Tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of the capital of Venezuela and other major cities in the country Wednesday.

It was a show of force against socialist President Nicolas Maduro. People are angry after Maduro's allies blocked a recall effort against him.

"Democracy, yes! Dictatorship, no," people shouted in the streets.

Many Venezuelans blame Maduro for the country's triple-digit inflation, terrible economy, and severe shortages of food, medicine, and other basic goods.

"Maduro has shown how scared he is that the people will express themselves," opposition leader Henrique Capriles said.

The protest comes on the heels of a decision by the Venezuelan congress last week to open a political trial against Maduro, accusing him of effectively staging a coup.

In other major cities, protestors clashed with police. Officials said that a police officer was shot and killed and two others were injured on the Pan-American Highway southwest of Caracas.

Although the circumstances of the shooting are not clear, Venezuela Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the police officer died "trying to disperse" an opposition protest.

Opposition leaders ended the national protest with a call for a general strike on Friday. They have threatened to march on the presidential palace if the government does not reverse its decision to block the recall effort.

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