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Maduro, opponents trade 'coup' charges in Venezuela crisis

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is resisting efforts by the opposition to remove him from power in a volatile political crisis, delivers a speech to supporters in Caracas on October 25, 2016Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the opposition-majority legislature Tuesday of staging a “parliamentary coup” after lawmakers voted to put him on trial amid a tense political and economic crisis. Accused by the legislature of “abandoning his post” and “criminal and political responsibility” for Venezuela’s descent into crisis, Maduro fired back by calling a meeting of his National Defense Council on Wednesday — the same day the opposition plans massive anti-government protests. Lawmakers earlier voted to open a “political and criminal trial” against Maduro over what they themselves have declared a coup: authorities’ decision last week to halt their efforts to call a referendum on removing the leftist leader from power.

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