martes, 16 de abril de 2013

Seven die in post-election protests in Venezuela

Seven were reported to have died in protests in Venezuela on 15-16 April, which followed the refusal of the opposition to recognize Nicolás Maduro's proclamation as the newly elected President and his apparent refusal to order a recount of votes. The chief prosecutor of Venezuela Luisa Ortega identified one of the dead as a policeman and said 135 people were, Spain's RTVE and agencies reported. Maduro blamed the violence on "fascist mobs" and the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles accused Maduro of ordering the violence to avoid a recount. Maduro declared on 16 April that he would not permit protests scheduled for 17 April and a planned march in Caracas toward the National Electoral Council (CNE), which oversaw the elections. He said "you will not go to central Caracas to fill it with death and blood. I will not allow it. Do what you want to do. I will use a firm hand with fascism and intolerance...if they want to overthrow me let them come. I am here with the people and the" army, Globovision reported. The Speaker of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello blamed five opposition politicians including Capriles for the deaths and indicated they could be taken to court. A "small, fascist group" he said was trying to undermine "order," Globovision reported on 16 April. Maduro was to be sworn in as President on 19 April, the state news agency AVN reported.

Maduro proclaimed Venezuela's President in spite of recount calls

The National Electoral Council (CNE) declared Nicolás Maduro Moros to be the newly elected President of Venezuela on 15 April in spite of the opposition's calls for a recount of votes for alleged irregularities; it unclear if this would happen. The CNE declared that with 99.17 per cent of votes counted, Maduro won 7,559,349 or 50.75 per cent of votes cast and his rival Henrique Capriles Radonsky 7,296,876 or 48.98 per cent of votes, Spain's El País reported on 15 April. The opposition was reported to have denounced 3,000 or more irregularities at polling stations. One of five directors of the CNE identified as not attached to the socialist regime, Vicente Díaz, had earlier said there should be a recount although an electoral tribunal had to authorise this, El País wrote. While Leftist states friendly to Venezuela's regime swiftly recognised Maduro's apparent victory, other observers from the United States and Spain to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States José Miguel Insulza, were cautious about results. Venezuela recalled its ambassador in Madrid for consultations after Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo commented that "one has to wait and see who the winner is," Europa Press reported on 15 April. Foreign Minister Elías Jaua said "there is a winner here, Nicolás Maduro won the Presidency...as the National Electoral Council has dictated." He reportedly deplored Insulza's stated support for the vote-count demanded by Henrique Capriles. Separately the Speaker of parliament Diosdado Cabello declared he would call for an inquiry against Capriles on 16 April for alleged complicity in disorders reported in Venezuela late on 15 April. Two at least died in the protests, which erupted in several Venezuelan states after Mr Capriles rejected the election results, Europa Press and Venezuelan media reported. Maduro warned Capriles "a majority is a majority...whoever seeks to harm the majority is trying to launch a coup," Europa Press reported on 16 April.