Aug 4 - Pro- and anti-government protesters hold separate rallies against corruption. Tom Dinham reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~*NONE**~ Thousands of supporters cheer Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as he vows to fight corruption and warns that no one will be spared (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "I have begun a fight against corruption and in the next few days there are going to be some real surprises at every level. Here no one is untouchable, fall who may fall we are going to do everything possible to build a new political ethic, companeros" Maduro is the political heir of late President Hugo Chavez and made his pledge just days after marking his first 100 days in office. Three Venezuelan senior officials have already been punished for corruption. But in a different part of the city, thousands of anti-government protesters rallied against Maduro's policies. Venezuela's annualized inflation rate soared to 39.6 percent in June, accompanied by food shortages in supermarkets. Official figures also reveal one of the highest murder rates in the world. Many opposition supporters say their quality of life has fallen since Maduro took office. As Venezuela's economy languishes from high inflation and food shortages, Maduro has also come under fire for a generous aid programme to left-wing Latin American governments such as Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua.