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Venezuela: President Says Opponents Mounting a Coup Amid Mass Protests

HeadlineApr 21, 2017
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In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro has accused his opponents of mounting a coup, as opposition politicians led mass rallies nationwide for a second straight day Thursday calling for a new elections. Across the country, police battled street protesters armed with firebombs, responding with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets, leaving three people dead. President Maduro rallied hundreds of thousands of his supporters for counterprotests and threatened to arrest opposition leader Henrique Capriles and National Assembly President Julio Borges.

President Nicolás Maduro: "Julio Borges, you are the head of the coup. Later, don’t complain when the law comes for you. Julio Borges, I am telling you ahead of time. I am telling you in defense of my motherland and in defense of the people."

President Maduro accused the Trump administration of backing a coup, comparing it to the Bush administration’s support for an unsuccessful attempt in 2002 to overthrow then-President Hugo Chávez. Meanwhile, General Motors said Thursday it will cease its operations in Venezuela, after saying the Maduro government seized one of its manufacturing plants.

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