International concern mounts over Venezuela

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CARACAS: International concerns are mounting over the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, where the military on Saturday wrapped up two days of exercises ordered by embattled President Nicolas Maduro. With the oil-dependent country’s economy imploding under recession and hyperinflation, public sentiment is backing Maduro’s ouster. But the socialist president is digging in. He imposed a state of emergency this week and ordered the war games to show that the military can tackle domestic and foreign threats he says are being fomented with US help. After their completion, he congratulated the armed forces on the “great success” of the drills, which included deployments of Russian-made jets and missile launchers, and anti-riot squads showing their tactics on state television.

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