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Venezuela: Chavistas and opposition rally in Caracas as Maduro enacts emergency measures02:05

Venezuela: Chavistas and opposition rally in Caracas as Maduro enacts emergency measures

Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of, Caracas
May 15, 2016 at 01:21 GMT +00:00 · Published

Pro-government and pro-opposition protesters took to the streets of Caracas, Saturday, after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a state of emergency following concerns of a potential coup attempt in Venezuela.

Maduro spoke to his supporters during the pro-government rally, stating that national military drills had been called for Saturday May 21 "to prepare us for any situation".

Anti-government protesters, rallying on the same day, carried flags bearing the emblem of opposition party 'First Justice', calling for authorities to push a referendum that could potentially see Maduro deposed before the end of his mandate, which runs up until 2019.

Venezuela, a country that relies on crude oil for more than 95 percent of hard currency revenue, has been hit hard by the worldwide slump in oil prices, with an electricity crisis adding to public pressure on the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to resolve the economic crisis.

Maduro first called a state of economic emergency in January 2016, broadening it to a 60-day general state of emergency on Friday. The decision allows the government to more easily address immediate economic concerns in Venezuela, with aims to kick start domestic production, enhance social programmes, and strengthen a new system of food distribution.

With growing calls from opposition for a referendum on Maduro's presidency and the recent transference of power to right-wing political parties in several other Latin American countries, the state of emergency will now also focus on protecting Venezuela from potential efforts at a coup.

Venezuela: Chavistas and opposition rally in Caracas as Maduro enacts emergency measures02:05
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Description

Pro-government and pro-opposition protesters took to the streets of Caracas, Saturday, after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared a state of emergency following concerns of a potential coup attempt in Venezuela.

Maduro spoke to his supporters during the pro-government rally, stating that national military drills had been called for Saturday May 21 "to prepare us for any situation".

Anti-government protesters, rallying on the same day, carried flags bearing the emblem of opposition party 'First Justice', calling for authorities to push a referendum that could potentially see Maduro deposed before the end of his mandate, which runs up until 2019.

Venezuela, a country that relies on crude oil for more than 95 percent of hard currency revenue, has been hit hard by the worldwide slump in oil prices, with an electricity crisis adding to public pressure on the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to resolve the economic crisis.

Maduro first called a state of economic emergency in January 2016, broadening it to a 60-day general state of emergency on Friday. The decision allows the government to more easily address immediate economic concerns in Venezuela, with aims to kick start domestic production, enhance social programmes, and strengthen a new system of food distribution.

With growing calls from opposition for a referendum on Maduro's presidency and the recent transference of power to right-wing political parties in several other Latin American countries, the state of emergency will now also focus on protecting Venezuela from potential efforts at a coup.

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