There were street protests marked with defiant words in Venezuela on Monday night. Hundreds of opposition supporters clashed with police in one of the wealthy districts of Caracas as Henrique Capriles refused to recognise his opponents narrow victory in Sunday’s ballot.
Political unrest in the oil-rich country is on the boil. Capriles called for peaceful protests. Instead the demonstrators threw rocks and the police responded with tear gas.
“We believe that we won the elections. The other electoral camp believes they won the elections as well. Well, everyone of us is within their rights, everyone of us has the right to count our votes,” Capriles told his supporters.
Nicolas Maduro is due to be sworn in on Friday. He scoffed at the protests by Capriles supporters and blamed them on the defeated candidate.
“You, the yellow candidate Henrique Capriles, are the one that has provoked all of this for not respecting the results because of your whim,” he said.
Nicolas Maduro appealed to his supporters to remain calm after winning the election with 50.8 percent of the vote to Capriles 49.0 percent. The head of the country’s electoral authority has refused a recount and said “threats and intimidation” were not the way to appeal decisions.