Tensions rise in Venezuela; opposition scraps protest
CARACAS — Tensions were on the rise in Venezuela amid reports of violence that has claimed seven lives at election-related protests during the past two days. And in a move intended to reduce further violence, the opposition called off a major protest planned for Wednesday to demand a complete recount of Sunday's contentious vote.
President-elect Nicolas Maduro, who was declared the winner with a 275,000-vote lead, accused the opposition of trying to discredit his administration and lay the groundwork for a coup.
The government says offices of the ruling PSUV party were attacked in three states and that groups had damaged installations of the National Electoral Council, or CNE, and threatened workers. Maduro said seven people were killed Monday by opposition “hordes.”
“They have unleashed the demons of intolerance,” Maduro said, vowing to prosecute those responsible.
Maduro's rival in Sunday's race, Miranda Gov. Henrique Capriles, said at a news conference that he called off the march on Wednesday because he received intelligence reports that the government planned to infiltrate the protest to provoke bloodshed. He had demanded a ballot-by-ballot recount because, he said, the election was plagued with irregularities.
Capriles said Maduro was seeking confrontation to keep the nation distracted from the recount petition, which is guaranteed by the constitution.
“Mr. Maduro doesn't want us to talk about a vote recount,” Capriles said. “He wants to plunge the country into violence.”
With 99.34 percent of the vote counted, the CNE says Maduro won 50.78 percent of the vote, versus Capriles' 48.95 percent. Almost 80 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Powder’s role in fire at Taiwan music festival investigated
- Little hope of survivors in Indonesian plane crash
- Smoking ban appears to be cause of 15-hour Australian prison riot
- Egyptian president plans tougher legal system in speech at burial of prosecutor
- Europeans swelter in rare heat
- Islamic State spreads terror across 3 continents
- Indonesia military transport plane crashes in Medan; more than 70 dead
- Top general: U.S. could expand reach in Iraq
- Shiite militias roll into Iraq’s Sunni regions
- NSA targeted 3 French leaders, WikiLeaks says
- Oslo bees get flowery highway pollinators