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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 4



>> The streets of Caracas, usually filled with protestors and police, deserted on Thursday, with Venezuelans striking against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Several private transportation groups heeded the 24 hour strike called by the opposition, in a campaign dubbed Zero Hour, to try and end nearly two decades of Socialist Party rule.
Reuters correspondent Andreina Aponte is in the capital.>> Here we are in a square that's normally very bustling and it's completely empty. Opposition lawmakers have called this strike a complete success even though there are some poor parts in Caracas where everything is working normal, the stores are open, and there's people going to their jobs.
>> That's because many poor Venezuelans can't afford to stay home if they want to put food on the table. But in other parts, it's a day of disruption, students and activists hauling trash bags and furniture into streets to form barriers and families keeping their kids home in case of violence.
The opposition is demanding a presidential election and calling on Maduro to ditch a plan for a new congress they fear would institute dictatorship. US President Donald Trump weighed into the dispute this week, threatening economic sanctions if the July 30 vote for the assembly goes ahead.