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Venezuela President-Elect Warns Opposition Protests Are A Death Wish

Zero Hedge [1]
April 17, 2013

President-elect Nicolas Maduro has stern words for his opposition, Henrique Capriles, who lost by an apparent 1.8% of the vote (the closest margin in 45 years) and is demanding a recount.

Capriles is urging his supporters to take to the street tomorrow to push for the recount, but Maduro warned doing so is a “death wish,” as Bloomberg reports [2], he added, “going to downtown Caracas will fill it with blood and death.” With little to lose in this zero-sum game, the protests have already turned deadly with 61 injured and 7 dead.

The government’s refusal to complete the recount is polarizing the country, “if supporters lose faith in formal politics, the violence will become unpredictable.”

The images and clips below suggest things are escalating rapidly as Maduro has called the election achoice between capitalism and socialism warning Spanish corporations such as Repsol that they could face ‘exemplary action’ from his government.

The violence of the 2002 coup against Chavez is fresh in people’s mind, but today’s situation is far more worrisome since the relative legitimacy of Maduro is less clear.