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Venezuela's Post-election Tension Escalates

[Links are to Spanish-language pages except where noted.]

The election results [en] following the death of Hugo Chávez, in which Nicolás Maduro and Henrique Capriles Radonski measured the support of their followers, is at the heart of mounting tension.

Just as Maduro was being declared the new President of the Republic, calls for public protests and an election recount were multiplying across social networks. In a matter of hours, photos of demonstrations, tweets in support of both candidates, and complaints about voting irregularities dominated Twitter's trending topics in Venezuela. The journalist Inti Acevedo (@inti) commented:

@inti: La situación en Venezuela tiende a ponerse más compleja con las horas, muchísimos rumores (no confirmados) de mil situaciones distintas.

@inti: The situation in Venezuela is getting more complicated by the hour, many rumours (unconfirmed) of a thousand different incidents.

Meanwhile, from Caracas, Liliana Ochoa (@liliob) shared a picture that shows deployment of military troops. 

@liliob: La autopista fco fajardo esta asi justo ahora. Foto por @andreavmm18 pic.twitter.com/DnXydf67wf

@liliob: The fco highway (Francisco Fajardo) looks like this right now. Photo by @andreavmm18 pic.twitter.com/DnXydf67wf

Foto compartida por @liliob en Twitter

Photo from @andreavmm18, shared on Twitter by @liliob

At the same time in Valencia, Anaÿs La Riva uploaded this photo in her Facebook profile:

Protesta en Valencia. Foto compartida por Anaÿs La Riva en su perfil de Facebook

Protest in Valencia. Photo shared by Anaÿs La Riva in her Facebook profile

A little while later, Hugo Londoño (@huguito) reported from his Twitter account:

@huguito: En Venezuela, en este momento el CNE [Consejo Nacional Electoral] proclama a Maduro como presidente, hay disturbios y protestas en centro CNE del país, suenan cacerolas

@huguito: In Venezuela, at this very moment the CNE [National Electoral Council] has declared Maduro president; there are demonstrations and protests in the country's CNE headquarters, the banging of pots

Tomás Fernández (@Tomasnomas29) shared several reports of violence in the morning and throughout the day in the city of Mérida, in the western part of the country, after the arrival of groups known as “Tupamaros”:

@Tomasnomas29: AUXILIOOO en el liceo libertador PORFAVOR!! Difundanlo! Los tupamaros no dejan hacer el conteo! Que esto llegue a toda Venezuela! DIFUNDE

@Tomasnomas29: HEEELP us in the liceo (high school) libertador PLEASE!! Please spread! The Tupamaros are preventing a ballot count! Get the word out across Venezuela! SPREAD IT

Sebastiana Barráez (@SebastianaB) also reported:

@SebastianaB: En Tachira hay tanquetas en la calle, en Merida los Tupamaros salieron a amedrentar, en Barinas hay protestas en la calle

@SebastianaB: In Tachira there are armoured vehicles in the street; in Merida the Tupamaros are going around intimidating; in Barinas there are protests in the street

In the coming hours, more calls to action and street protests are expected from both sides. The hashtags citizens are using to inform and comment can be seen in Venezuela's trending topics on Twitter: #CaprilesGanóTibisayMintió; #ElPuebloHablóMaduroGanó; #NicolásElDerrotadoEresTú; #CacerolazoALas8; #ConteoVotoPorVotoYA; y Mañana al CNE.

This post was written with help from Jessica Carrillo Mazzali.

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