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Protesters Reportedly Insult Venezuela Leader During Visit

By on September 3, 2016

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a May Day march in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, May 1, 2016. President Maduro ordered a 30 percent increase in the minimum wage, the latest move by the socialist government to grapple with high inflation and economic stagnation. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a May Day march in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, May 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reportedly was greeted by angry pot-banging protesters during a visit to Margarita Island.

Grainy cellphone videos said to be from the Friday night encounter were picked up by Venezuelan news sites and were trending on social media. The socialist leader is seen jogging through a crowd as residents loudly bang on pots and hurl obscenities.

His visit to Margarita Island earlier Friday evening was broadcast nationwide. Images of the protest were later posted by residents of the town where it reportedly occurred.

Maduro supporters sought to cast doubt about what happened, with one pro-government lawmaker posting on social media a short, edited video of what looks like the same appearance and in which Maduro can be seen greeting well-wishers as he jogs through the crowd with his fist raised.

There was no immediate government reaction.

The opposition said the protest illustrated the widespread anger among Venezuelans for Maduro during the country’s economic crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the capital’s streets Thursday to demand authorities allow a recall referendum that could remove Maduro from office.

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