Political tensions remain high in Venezuela as government officials and Henrique Capriles continued their post-electoral war of words.
Capriles accused the government of plotting to infiltrate an opposition rally that was supposed to take place later today.
“I have made the decision: we will not mobilize tomorrow, and I ask all my supporters to accept that,” Capriles said Tuesday. “He who goes out (on the streets) is on the side of violence and is playing the government’s game.”
the runner-up of Sunday’s presidential election mentioned at a press conference that the opposition was “disposed to open a dialogue so this crisis can be resolved in the coming hours.”
Capriles also reiterated his demands of a full recount of the election, which was won by Nicolás Maduro by roughly 265,000 votes, and presented evidence of alleged voter fraud perpetrated by the Maduro regime.
Senior government officials replied by accusing Capriles of instigating violent incidents that left at least seven people dead and over sixty injured.
“These tragic events where caused by the irresponsible attitude of the ex-candidate representing the extreme right who lost and refuses to accept reality,” declared Information Minister Ernesto Villegas.
Foreign Affairs Minister Elias Jaua said that Capriles is “generating baseless chaos” and has not provided a “single concrete element” proving voter fraud.
As we mentioned yesterday, several Latin American presidents including the leaders of Bolivia and Argentina are planning to attend Maduro’s inauguration this Friday. Meanwhile the White House, European Union and the Organization of American States have urged a full recount of the vote but that has been rejected by Venezuelan elecotal auhorieties. As a result, the U.S. government refuses to accept Maduro as President-elect:
State department deputy spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, said the decision by the electoral council to declare Mr Maduro the victor before a full recount was "hard to understand".
"They did not explain their haste in taking this decision," he said.
Mr Maduro accuses the US of inciting the post-election violence.
Washington had a poor relationship with (the late President Hugo) Chavez. He accused the US of being behind a coup in which he was temporarily deposed in 2002.The back-and-forth between Maduro and Capriles comes amidst competing street protests with fireworks and flags from Chavistas and the banging of pots and pans by Caprilistas.
Video Source– YouTube via euronews
Online Sources – LAHT; El Universal; BBC News; The Latin Americanist; Washington Post