Violence erupted at an opposition campaign event Wednesday as supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blocked a road and a campaign truck was torched. Both sides hurled rocks, and police said at least 14 people were hurt.
A large crowd of Chavez supporters in red shirts blocked a main road near the airport in the coastal town of Puerto Cabello before a visit by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. A truck used by Capriles’ campaign was set ablaze, and a motorcycle was also torched.
Capriles had been scheduled to visit an area that has traditionally leaned pro-Chavez, and opposition supporters were seen running to take cover during the violence.
After the violence, Capriles spoke at an outdoor rally in the town, blaming Chavez and small ‘radical groups.’ « Those actions aren’t spontaneous. There’s someone responsible for those actions, » Capriles told the crowd.
« We know that he who turns to violence, it’s that he’s afraid of the other’s ideas, » Capriles added. « We’re tired of violence. » Chavez has recently said his rival has a hidden agenda to impose right-wing measures « that would lead Venezuela to a civil war. »