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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tax Revolt Deepens Venezuelan Crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Foes of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, marching in their thousands in Caracas, tore up income-tax forms Tuesday as they added a tax revolt to a five-week-old strike crippling the nation's crucial oil exports.

But Chavez vowed to resist what he called an "economic war" to oust him.

Waving national flags and blowing whistles, the anti-Chavez demonstrators marched to tax offices in east Caracas on the 37th day of an opposition strike aimed at forcing the populist leader to resign and call early elections.

"We are not going to pay taxes until this government goes," 52-year-old housewife Belkis Soto said as she took part in the march.

Earlier, speaking at a school, Chavez warned his striking opponents their refusal to pay taxes was against the law. "They've tried to break the oil industry ... now they're trying to break the national treasury so there is no money," he said.

Tax authorities say offenders face fines and prison terms ranging from six months to seven years.