In Caracas violent demonstrations have left at least 7 dead and 61 injured.
Clashes erupted over the disputed election victory of Nicolas Maduro, the chosen successor of ex-President Hugo Chavez who ruled Venezuela for 14 years.
Maduro has accused the opposition of plotting a coup d’etat.
“If you want to topple me, come for me, I am here with the people and the armed forces. Do what you have to do, little petty bourgeois,” exclaimed Maduro.
In response, opposition leader Henrique Capriles has called off a protest scheduled for Wednesday to prove the agitation is not coming from his camp.
“The government doesn’t want to count the votes again. What they want is to have a problem of violence, a big confrontation. They want Venezuela to be seen in the rest of the world as a country in a violent conflict and so they won’t be obliged to answer our demands (to count the votes again”.
According to the electoral authority, Maduro won by a slim 1.6 per cent margin and a recount has been ruled out. The inauguration is scheduled for Friday.
Capriles has called for talks with the government to resolve the crisis gripping the oil-rich nation.