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Hundreds arrested in Venezuela cash chaos, vigilantes protect shops

Drifter's Pink Slip From Twitter

By Andrew Cawthorne and Corina Pons

CARACAS (Reuters) – Security forces have arrested more than 300 people during protests and lootings over the elimination of Venezuela’s largest currency bill, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday.

The socialist leader pulled the 100 bolivar note this week before new bills were in circulation, creating a national cash shortage on top of the brutal economic crisis overshadowing Venezuelans’ Christmas and New Year holidays.

After two days of unrest over the measure – including one death and dozens of shops ransacked – Maduro on Saturday postponed the measure until Jan. 2.

That helped stem violence, though there were still reports of more lootings in southern Ciudad Bolivar on Sunday.

The detainees include leaders and members of the opposition Popular Will and Justice First parties, Maduro said on state TV, accusing them of following U.S. instructions to incite chaos.

“Don’t come and tell me they…

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