World Bulletin/News Desk
Police moved into a Caracas slum on Saturday to separate rival supporters of President Hugo Chavez and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles during the latest flare-up of Venezuela's volatile election campaign.
Aides for Capriles said three opposition supporters were lightly injured after stone-throwing gangs tried to stop him entering the hillside La Vega neighborhood.
"I'm not going round Venezuela looking for a fight with anyone," Capriles said, denouncing the police blockade as a violation of his rights under Venezuela's election law.
"I am not going to confront those officers. In a few months, I will be their boss. ... These obstacles and abuses only give me more strength to overcome the darkness on Oct. 7."
The 39-year-old former state governor is basing his campaign on a grass-roots tour of Venezuela, seeking to make a contrast with Chavez, who has been relying more on TV appearances following a year of fighting cancer.
Latin America watches
He is particularly targeting pro-Chavez areas, and has run into trouble before in poor Caracas neighborhoods where guns proliferate and the president has his most militant supporters.
Government officials said hooded Capriles supporters were planning to cause trouble in La Vega. One man was arrested, and two guns confiscated, Information Minister Andres Izarra said.
"The professional intervention of the police prevented the opposition violence," he said via Twitter.
Underlying the polarization of Venezuelan politics, images from the scene showed a crowd of red-shirted "Chavistas" separated from Capriles' own supporters by scores of police.
State media said opposition supporters tossed eggs, bottles and stones during the fracas.
Chavez, 57, has a double-digit lead in most polls ahead of the presidential ballot, but one recent survey put the candidates neck and neck. Both sides exude confidence of a win.
The stakes are high not only for Venezuela, a nation of 29 million people with the largest oil reserves in the world, but for the wider region. Leftist allies such as Cuba and Nicaragua depend on Chavez's oil-financed largesse toward them.
Although staying generally quiet, Washington is watching closely to see whether its No. 1 irritant in the region wins re-election or exits the political stage after nearly 14 years of attacking U.S. officials.
In a speech to supporters on Friday night, Chavez mocked Capriles as a "loser" and "non-entity" who was walking and cycling round Venezuela in a fruitless campaign.
The center-left Capriles, who hails Brazil's mix of free-market economics and strong welfare policies as his model, abandoned his usually more moderate language to taunt Chavez back on Saturday.
"I'm telling you clearly, Chavez, whatever you do, your time is over brother," he said. "Venezuela is waking up."
Earlier in the year, shots were fired when Capriles took his campaign to another poor Caracas neighborhood, Cotiza. Both sides blamed each other for the violence.
Another opposition leader, Maria Corina Machado, had shots fired at her entourage in November while campaigning in a Caracas shantytown ahead of the opposition Democratic Unity coalition's primary that Capriles won in February.
Ramallah-based Fatah movement had invited representatives of rival faction Hamas – which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 – to attend the event
Snowden's leaks indicated that GCHQ and the NSA had intercepted and monitored phone, email and social media communications on a massive scale, causing global uproar.
Thaliand's military junta has applied to join UN Human Rights Council, but laws on insulting monarchy threaten to undermine its application
Judges postponed trial proceedings in order to hear arguments from the plaintiffs' lawyers at the next hearing
Moscow has said the request is related to suspicion of fraud dating back to 2004 and 2005. Koblyakov has denied the charges and says he fears political persecution by Russian authorities
18,000 dwellings were destroyed or damaged in 50 days of Israeli attacks, and 108,000 people are homeless in a long impoverished, isolated territory.
ISIL seized large areas of Deir al-Zor's industrial region, meaning it now controls more than half the city
Haroon Aswat, 40, a British citizen of Indian descent, is wanted in the United States for allegedly conspiring to establish a militant training camp
Leung Chun-ying was talking just hours before the start of formal talks between student protest leaders and city officials aimed at defusing the crisis
22 people, including attackers, killed in a market place by 4 armed men in East Turkestan
Hamas denounced what he described as "blackmail" by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who recently said reconstruction of the war-battered strip would be halted if Hamas began repairing cross-border tunnels
Ibrahim Ghandour, vice president of the National Congress Party, told Reuters Bashir had been chosen by the party's decision-making council out of five candidates
Israeli forces fired dozens of teargas canisters at Palestinians demonstrating outside Israel's Ofer Prison in Ramallah
Canadian media, citing police, identified the driver as Martin Couture-Rouleau, a resident of the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, near Montreal.
The maritime portion of "Keen Sword" will be held east of Japan's major southern island of Kyushu, but not in the East China Sea, which lies to the other side of the island
Stop the War Coalition warns British government decision to send drones to surveil ISIL will inflame conflict in Middle East