Social media video shows Venezuela sergeant demanding Maduro removal

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[January 21, 2019]  CARACAS (Reuters) - A man identifying himself as a Venezuelan National Guard sergeant at a Caracas outpost called for the removal of President Nicolas Maduro, in a social media video circulating on Monday.

The video did not show significant movement of troops or military vehicles. Social media photos showed the presence of security forces in the area of the National Guard outpost.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the video.

The Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 under an avalanche of criticism that his leadership was illegitimate following a 2018 election widely viewed as fraudulent, with countries around the world disavowing his government.

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The United States and many Latin American nations say Maduro has become a dictator whose failed state-led policies have plunged Venezuela into its worst ever economic crisis, with inflation approaching 2 million percent.

Maduro says that a U.S.-directed "economic war" is trying to force him from power.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Marguerita Choy)

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