Hugo Chavez heir says US incites violence

CARACAS — Venezuela’s president-elect blamed the opposition Tuesday for seven deaths and 61 injuries that the government says have occurred in disturbances protesting his election, and he accused the United States of organizing the unrest.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles later accused the government of being behind the violence.

President-elect Nicolas Maduro’s accusation against Washington came after the US State Department said it would not recognize the results of Sunday’s unexpectedly close election without the vote-by-vote recount being demanded by Capriles.


‘‘The [US] embassy has financed and led all these violent acts,’’ Maduro, the chosen heir of the late Hugo Chavez, said during a televised meeting at the headquarters of the state oil company.

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Earlier, he said he would not allow an opposition protest march called for Wednesday in Caracas, saying Capriles was ‘‘responsible for the dead we are mourning’’ from violence during protests across the country.

Maduro then summoned his supporters to take to the streets Wednesday in the capital, raising the possibility of a confrontation with antigovernment protesters.

But Capriles called off the planned opposition march. ‘‘Whoever goes out into the street tomorrow is playing the government’s game,’’ he said. ‘‘The government wants there to be deaths in the country.’’

He called accusations by officials that he is mounting an attempt to overthrow the socialist government a smoke screen to divert attention from his demand for a recount.


‘‘I want to ask Mr. Maduro to calm down a bit. I think he’s sort of going crazy,’’ Capriles said at a news conference.

According to the regime-friendly National Electoral Council, which quickly certified Maduro’s election Monday, he defeated Capriles by 262,000 votes out of 14.9 million ballots cast.

Outside the capital, a march to demand a recount turned violent in the capital of Barinas, home state of Chavez.