Thousands of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro marched in the capital Saturday to denounce the socialist government for a deepening economic crisis marked by widespread shortages and galloping inflation.

Politicians addressing the crowd tried to project an image of unity in their first organized march since deadly anti-government disturbances a year ago failed to unseat Maduro.

Turnout at what was billed the "March of the Empty Pots" was far lower than past rallies.

Analysts say that while frustration with Maduro is high, many Venezuelans are staying home out of fear of another crackdown on government opponents and are too absorbed putting food on the table to push for political change.

Police in riot gear blocked marchers' access to downtown