Protestors block roads in Venezuelan capital

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - February 24, 2014

The barricades of trash and other debris prompted the cancellation of some bus routes and made the morning commute a nightmare for many, but there were no reports of major violence as police began dismantling the roadblocks. There were similar reports of blockades in the provincial cities of Maracaibo and Valencia.

Since Feb. 12, opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have been staging countrywide protests that the government says have resulted in at least 11 deaths and more than 130 injuries.

The demonstrators blame Maduro's administration for the country's high crime rate and economic troubles. They say his socialist-inspired polices have led to shortages of basic goods and inflation above 50 percent, among the world's highest, despite the country's vast oil reserves.

Maduro has called for a national peace conference this week to address the unrest. Opposition Gov. Henrique Capriles says he has not decided whether he will participate.

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