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With dire shortages of basic goods, a looming foreign debt payment, horrific street crime and unyielding political divisions, Venezuela is in danger of collapsing into waves of deadly violence, U.S. intelligence officials warned Friday.

Venezuela, which controls the world's largest reserves of crude oil, is in the throes of a potentially explosive political stalemate after opposition parties gained a majority in the national congress in elections late last year.

President Nicolas Maduro, a leftist, faces a possible recall vote sponsored by the opposition that he is maneuvering to block. Maduro has threatened to take over idle factories and jail their owners following a decree of emergency powers this week. He also warns that business people who halt production risk being "put in handcuffs."

He spoke Saturday as anti- and pro-government crowds demonstrated in Caracas for and against a bid to recall the president.
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