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(TELESUR ENGLISH) – “Anyone claiming to be ‘chavista’ does what that group did in Catia, in Caracas, then they’re not ‘Chavista,'” said Venezuelan President Maduro.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro condemned Wednesday the recent attack against the campaign of presidential candidate Henry Falcon, which led to Teodoro Campos, a lawmaker associated with Falcon, receiving treatment for head injuries.
“I ordered an investigation from the moment I found out. I can tell you there have been 17 arrested who will be punished with jail, as well as all those who dared to verbally and physically attack presidential candidate Henry Falcon’s campaign team,” said President Maduro, adding that “anyone claiming to be ‘chavista’ or a member of a ‘colectivo’ and does what that group did yesterday in Catia, in Caracas, then they’re not ‘chavista.’”
Falcon’s team was visiting Caita, a working class district in Caracas, Monday when attacked by a group of people that mainstream media is labeling as “Maduro supporters” near the Plaza Sucre subway station. Teodoro Campos, the team’s chief of security and congress representative, was seriously wounded in the head and is currently in a military hospital under permanent observation.
The opposition candidate tweeted that Campos had been hit in the head by a man wearing steel knuckles. Rayner Peña, a photographer of El Pitazo, was also injured during the mob attack. “None of this is going to stop us,” Falcon said as he claimed Maduro’s supporters were behind the attack.
“I call on the Venezuelan people to remain peaceful, to carry out an electoral campaign full of happiness, dancing, music, pedagogical ideas and peace. If you see any presidential candidate, greet them on my behalf. We should guarantee peace,” said President Maduro during the inauguration ceremony of the Martin Luther King University Campus in the Lara state.
Maduro also declared that the government won’t tolerate any kind of aggression and called for peace and dialogue. “We want a campaign of peace in which candidate can go anywhere they want. At the end, the Venezuelan people will choose who will lead the fatherland next May 20.”
Even though they originally rejected Falcon’s presidential bid for participating in an electoral process they consider fraudulent and have repeatedly asked him to backtrack on his decision, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) is now supporting Falcon and condemned the attack against the candidate’s team.
Venezuela will hold elections on May 20 and Falcon has been calling on the opposition to unite and support his candidacy against President Maduro.