Presidential candidates spar in Venezuela

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2013 4:15 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has launched a nationwide tour as part of his campaign to replace the late President Hugo Chavez.

Capriles spoke to a massive crowd Saturday in the town of Calvario in western Venezuela. He said the government had closed the airport there hours before his planned rally and he had to fly to a different town and finish the journey with ground transport.

The 40-year-old governor slammed the government for the country's high crime rates and the shortage of basic items in markets.

Also Saturday, government candidate Nicolas Maduro led an homage to Chavez in Caracas that took on the tone of a political rally.

The acting leader told an auditorium full of supporters that Capriles would send home Cuban doctors now working in government clinics.