Venezuelans hold rival marches for and against government

Hundreds of opponents and supporters of President Nicolas Maduro are holding rival marches in Caracas, with anti-government forces demanding Venezuela's leader step down and his sympathizers denouncing U.S. sanctions on some top officials.

The marches Saturday were animated but peaceful, unlike massive anti-government protests in 2014 that left dozens dead and barricades burning in the streets.

Government critics dressed in white shirts marched through the capital's Chacao district, calling for the liberation of detained opposition members they consider political prisoners.

The opposition blames the socialist-inspired government for the widespread shortages, deep recession and soaring inflation plaguing Venezuela.

Maduro said he "would never surrender to the oligarchy" and denounced a recent decision by President Barack Obama to renew an executive order that declared a national emergency with respect to Venezuela.