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In recent days, U.S. officials have been characterizing the political turmoil in Venezuela as nearing its end.

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Clad in a dazzling white shirt, Nicolás Maduro is standing at a podium, grinning through his mustache and waving his hands at his supporters.

"Hands off Venezuela, Mr. Imperator Donald Trump!" he shouts, waving his hands still more, to emphasize his point. "Get out of Venezuela, imperial Yankee!"

Cameras from state-run TV pan across the crowd, carefully picking out people who are applauding and flourishing flags.

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