On Saturday, Foreign Minister Elías Jaua said Venezuelan intelligence had uncovered a plot to assassinate Maduro using mercenaries brought in from Central America. Days earlier, the government said that former U.S. diplomats Otto Reich and Roger Noriega were scheming to kill Capriles to create chaos and provide cover for an invasion.
Capriles on Sunday dismissed those claims as part of a dirty tricks campaign and said the administration would be trotting out a former governor to give the allegations a patina of truth.
“They had one story but now they’re coming out with another one,” Capriles said. “Nicolás, don’t be ridiculous, man. Let’s count the votes on April 14 and let the people decide.”
On the campaign trail, Capriles has accused Maduro and other Chávez insiders of hijacking the government and bending the rules to stay in power. And he compared his mustachioed rival to “Satan” for trying to divide the country and saying opposition voters would be cursed.
“I will do everything to win the trust of all Venezuelans,” Capriles said. “I don’t want anyone in this country when I’m president to say they were left out.”
Capriles, the governor of Miranda, will continue barnstorming the nation throughout the week and wrap up his campaign Thursday in Barquisimeto, Venezuela’s fourth-largest city and an opposition stronghold.
The winner of Sunday’s vote will complete Chávez’s term through 2019.
Lauriano Hernandez, a 50-year-old business administrator at the Capriles rally, said he was confident the opposition’s time had come.
“It’s going to be very difficult, but he can win,” he said, as he waved a Venezuelan flag. “It’s now or never.”