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Doctors, Nurses Blocked During Protest in Venezuela

Nurses shout slogans during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 16, 2018. The nurses were confronted by a phalanx of police officers that prevented them from marching toward Miraflores Presidential Palace several miles away.

Riot police on Thursday blocked hundreds of doctors and nurses from marching to Venezuela's presidential palace to protest low pay and shortages of medical supplies amid the nation's deepening economic crisis.

The demonstration in Caracas was the first attempt by protesters to reach the presidential palace since massive anti-government protests last year.

The medical professionals are demanding action by President Nicolas Maduro, who's overseeing a crisis marked by widespread shortages and mass migration from the country.

The once-wealthy oil-producing nation is in crisis economically and politically after two decades of socialist rule.

Rows of heavily armed riot police blocked roughly 400 medical professionals shortly after they began their march.

Ana Rosario Contreras of the Association of Illnesses said they were demanding that the government provide basic supplies to treat patients.

The protest ended without violence.