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Venezuela's Maduro admits economic 'catastrophe'

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) presents the annual report before the opposition controlled National Assembly in Caracas on January 15, 2016Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro admitted before a hostile legislature that the oil-rich nation is mired in a “catastrophic” economic crisis, hours after decreeing a two-month state of emergency. Maduro’s first state of the nation address before the newly opposition-held National Assembly, which is locked in a bitter power struggle with his administration, came as Venezuela’s central bank released its first economic growth and inflation statistics in more than a year. “These catastrophic figures (are) the result of an economic situation that in another era of regressive neoliberal and capitalist policies would surely have pushed (the Venezuelan) people into unemployment,” said Maduro.

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