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Anti-Maduro protests persist in Venezuela, dozens jailed

A demonstrator stands with a flag on his back as demonstrators block the city's main highway during a protest against President Nicolas Maduro's government in CaracasBy Andrew Cawthorne and Diego Ore CARACAS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Maduro’s government kept dozens of student protesters behind bars on Friday as unrest still rumbled across Venezuela following this week’s violence at political rallies that killed three. “We’re going to stay out in the streets for the same reasons as yesterday and the day before: inflation, insecurity and a repressive state that refuses to release our colleagues,” student Marcos Matta, 22, told Reuters, in Caracas. Defying the president’s prohibition of demonstrations, about 500 people gathered in Caracas’ Altamira Square, a heartland of past opposition protests, to chant slogans and wave banners. Maduro, a 51-year-old former union activist and bus driver, accuses his foes of seeking a coup against him similar to one that briefly toppled his predecessor Hugo Chavez in 2002.