Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Thursday issued renewed calls to supporters, telling them not to “fall into the government’s trap” and be provoked to commit violence.
With President-elect Nicolás Maduro due to be sworn in on Friday, Venezuelans remain bitterly divided over the government’s refusal to call a recount of Sunday’s election vote. Both Maduro and Capriles have accused each other of waging violent protests across the country, which have led to the deaths of 11 people since Sunday.
Maduro won the race by 1.83 percent, according to the latest tally on Thursday.
Both men have been actively using social media to get their messages across to their respective camps.
“We need react because we have just foiled a coup d’état, and they are going to continue to try to sabotage the life of a country. Everyone, stay on the alert,” the president-elect wrote on Twitter. “In the names of eight of our supporters who were killed by the fascists, I promise to consolidate this people’s revolution with the people and for the people.”
Capriles was scheduled to address the nation later Thursday. But earlier in the day he also warned his supporters on Twitter and Facebook “not to step into the government’s trap. Remember! It needs the violence to survive.”
Earlier, Supreme Court president Luisa Estella Morales said that it was “impossible” to meet Capriles’ demands for a ballot-by-ballot recount because the “electoral system is completely mechanical and there is no way to conduct a manual recount.”
Her comments were immediately criticized by Capriles, who said she was not being impartial, and explained the paper ballots that came out of the electronic voting machines should be matched against the counters as well as the registries at each polling station. He will formally ask the National Electoral Council (CNE) on Monday to sanction a recount.