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Campaigns close ahead of key Venezuela vote

•, Chris Arsenault
 Interim president Nicolas Maduro and opposition challenger Henrique Capriles made their final speeches to voters as official campaigning closed ahead of Venezuela’s election.

Hundreds of thousands rallied in Caracas, the capital, to support Maduro, on Thursday. Some wore the trademark red shirts of the Socialist Party and fake moustaches in the bushy style of their candidate.

Capriles’ supporters mobilised in the city of Acarigua, where their nominee promised major changes in the country that is believed to hold the world’s largest oil reserves.

“I am here to seal a commitment to the humble people because they hear that Venezuela has a lot of oil and resources which don’t reach those who need them,” Capriles told supporters.

Economy and security

Sunday’s election will be the first without Hugo Chavez in 14 years. The populist ex-president and former army officer died of cancer last month, and analysts believe the interim leader is attempting to capitalise on his legacy.

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