Supporters of the Venezuelan government gather before the National Assembly in Caracas on October 27, 2016. / AFP / RONALDO SCHEMIDT
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro faces renewed pressure Friday as the opposition calls for a nationwide strike, which he has threatened to break with army takeovers of paralyzed firms.Up in arms over the authorities' decision to block a referendum on removing Maduro from power, the opposition has declared a 12-hour general strike, threatening to exacerbate the shortages of food and basic goods gripping the country.The opposition says it is Maduro who is staging a coup d'etat by blocking a referendum.Army chief Vladimir Padrino has declared loyalty to Maduro, vowing to defend the socialist government "with (his) life".The army will inspect some 700 companies Friday to see whether they observe the strike, Maduro said.
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