Post-election protests turn violent
Post-election protests in Venezuela left seven people dead. The newly elected President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro accused the opposition for the violence.
On the other hand, Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate who insists for a recount said in his Twitter account. “The illegitimate one and his government ordered that there be violence to avoid a vote count! They are the ones responsible.” Yesterday, Capriles announced that today’s march against the elections results will be cancelled, because the government intended to infiltrate the demonstration.
Post-election protests took place on Monday. Students demonstrated against the official results and the National Guard troops fired tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse the crowd. According to al-Jazeera the young protesters hurled chunks of concrete and stones back at the troops on a highway in Caracas. The Venezuelan government said that the seven people who were killed were supporters of their party. However, the father of one of those killed, Ender José Bastardo, 21, told New York Times that he was marching with his son against the government.
Overall, the post-election situation in Venezuela remains unstable. The opposition is still accusing the government of stealing the elections while Maduro’s government accused the opposition for inciting violence. According to New York Times, Maduro also accused Washington for the events in Venezuela. In a broadcast the President of Venezuela said, “the United States Embassy has financed all the acts of violence in this country,” adding that violent groups, during the protests, were directed by two American military attachés whom he had expelled the day that Hugo Chávez died.
A United States State Department spokesman replied to the accusations with a written statement. “We continue to completely reject the Venezuelan government’s claim that the United States is involved in any type of conspiracy to destabilize the Venezuelan government or to harm anyone in Venezuela,” the statement stressed.
Maduro also accused another American Embassy employee of plotting to sabotage the nation’s electrical system. Authorities in Venezuela used electronic voting machines that print a paper ballot as a back-up for any post-election recount request.