Capriles distances self from violent protests in Venezuela

By REUTERS
April 17, 2013 08:14

 
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CARACAS - Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles distanced himself from post-election street violence after seven fatalities threatened to turn the South American OPEC nation's vote dispute into a full-blown crisis.

Capriles had planned to lead a march on the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Wednesday to demand a recount after official results gave a narrow win to Nicolas Maduro, the chosen successor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

But the opposition leader canceled the rally on Tuesday, saying the government had plotted to "infiltrate" it, start trouble and blame it on him.

"To all my followers ... this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with me," Capriles told reporters. "It is doing me harm."

The government earlier said seven people were killed on Monday and accused Capriles' supporters of attacking ruling Socialist Party offices and people celebrating Maduro's victory.

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