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Opposition leaders called for protests on Jan. 23, the anniversary of the of the country’s last dictatorship in 1958.

The government invited foreign leaders to add political weight to Thursday’s event, and they filled a stage in front of the presidential palace as Mr. Maduro addressed the crowd and called it a “historic event.”

A recording of Mr. Chavez singing the national anthem suddenly appeared, and his followers sang along. At the end, his voice boomed: “Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!”

Sitting beside Mr. Maduro were Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Jose Mujica of Uruguay. The government said officials from about 20 other nations were on hand, including allies from a left-leaning bloc and others participating in a Chavez-launched program that supplies Venezuelan fuel under preferential terms.