The acting president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has put a curse on citizens who do not vote for him in next week’s election. He likened his main rival candidate, Henrique Capriles, to Spanish conquerors fighting indigenous people in the 16th Century. A centuries-old curse, he said, would fall on those who did not vote for him. Mr Capriles responded by saying the only curse for Venezuelans would be if Mr Maduro won the election. The country goes to the polls next Sunday to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez, the long-time leftist leader who died of cancer last month. Opinion polls suggest Mr Maduro, who was Chavez’s deputy, has a lead of at least 10 points over his rival.
Wearing a local indigenous hat at a rally in Amazonas state, a largely jungle territory on the borders of Brazil and Colombia, Mr Maduro said: “If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Maracapana is falling on him.”
He was referring to a 16th Century battle when Spanish colonial fighters defeated indigenous fighters decisively.
“If the bourgeoisie win, they are going to privatise health and education, they are going to take land from the Indians, the curse of Maracapana would come on you,” the candidate continued.