(Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition leader Henrique Capriles dismissed as irresponsible on Tuesday a government warning of an assassination plot against him that further stirred up an already volatile election campaign.
President Hugo Chavez made the surprise announcement on Monday evening, implying that elements within the opposition were behind a plan to kill Capriles, the 39-year-old Miranda state governor who is challenging him in an October 7 election.
“The declaration of the Socialist Party candidate borders on the irresponsible, like his government is with the insecurity our people have to live with,” Capriles said via Twitter.
The latest development adds to a nervous and polarized atmosphere across the South American OPEC member, which the socialist Chavez has dominated for 13 years.
Shots were fired during one Capriles campaign stop in Caracas earlier this month, and officials from Chavez down have pilloried him as a “pig,” “bourgeois” and a “little Yankee.”