Fireworks and clanging pots and pans are Venezuela's post presidential election soundtrack. Tensions have been steadily rising since the electoral council announced Maduro's slim victory over Capriles.
The sound of bursting fireworks competed with the cacophony of clanging pots and pans here last night, marking the second day of protests over last weekend's presidential election results.
Supporters of President-elect Nicolás Maduro and opposition candidate Henrique Capriles sought to use the fireworks and kitchen utensils to drown each other out peacefully across the city following post-election-related violence that left 61 people injured and seven dead this week.
Tensions have been steadily rising since Sunday when the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that Mr. Maduro's margin of victory over Mr. Capriles was less than 2 percent. Capriles's campaign has publicly contested the election results, citing some 3,200 irregularities in the count and demanding a full audit.
"What are they afraid of?" screamed David Alvarez, a student and one of dozens of protestors in the upscale Plaza Altamira last night demanding a recount. Taking a pause from blowing into a horn, he continued, "We're not afraid of losing, we just want to know the truth."
Although Altamira leans heavily towards Capriles, protests have erupted in some bastions formerly held by the late President Hugo Chávez. And while the government continues to refuse a recount, many believe the prolonged crisis could have serious repercussions for the Maduro presidency, which lacks the same mandate frequently won by Mr. Chávez and faces a clearly split country.