On Thursday, he said Maduro had strong-armed public workers into attending his campaign event.
“They forced a lot of our brothers onto busses and took them to Caracas,” Capriles said in Portuguesa.
While the campaign has been rushed, it has also been profoundly uneven, said Luís Lara, the director of the Venezuelan Election Observatory, an independent watchdog.
The government has been flooding state-run TV and local newspapers with thinly veiled propaganda that skirts campaign-ad limits, he said. And the speed of the event seems calculated to benefit an administration that is riding high on the sympathy generated by Chávez’s death, he said.
The race has also been taking place amid threats of violence. The government has said that opposition radicals have smuggled Central American mercenaries into the country to generate chaos, including assassinating Maduro or Capriles.
On Thursday, the government said it intercepted a shipment of handguns and ammunition in Barquisimeto, the town where Capriles would be holding his closing rally. Authorities said they were investigating to see if the weapons might be used by political “terrorists.” Late Thursday, Maduro said Colombian paramilitaries had been apprehnded and the government would provide details Friday.
Maduro asked followers to give him 10 million votes — a goal that Chávez himself never reached — adn said he would never let the nation down.
Capriles said that Venezuelans have to have faith that things can change after 14 years of Chavismo.
“We’re going to choose between someone who wants to make your life better, or someone who hasn’t done anything for your safety,” Capriles said at his final stop in Lara, an opposition stronghold. “This Sunday, we’re going to choose between and death.”