Ruling-party presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday at the childhood home of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez that he felt that his deceased mentor appeared to him in the form of a “little bird”, blessed him and made a strong call ‘on to (electoral) battle’.
“I felt it here like it was giving us a blessing, telling us: ‘Today the battle gets started. Go on to victory. Have our blessings.’ That’s what I felt in my soul,” revealed Maduro at the patio of Chavez’s birthplace in the western state of Sabaneta de Barinas.
Maduro, who was accompanied by Chavez’s siblings, said that while he was praying in a small chapel on Tuesday morning, and finding himself completely alone, the bird appeared and he established communication by whistling.
“Suddenly a little bird, very tiny, entered and went over flew three times around me up here,” he said indicating his head and imitating the bird’s flapping and chirping.
The bird, Maduro continued somewhat emotionally, “landed on a wooden beam and began to whistle, a pretty whistling,” he said, imitating the sound.
“I kept watching it and I also started whistling...‘If you whistle, I’ll whistle,’ and I whistled. The little bird looked at me strangely, no? It whistled for a moment, it flew over my head once again and left and I felt it was his (Chavez’s) spirit,” he remarked.
Maduro, who has been acting president since Chavez died on March 5 after a 21-month battle with cancer, is seeking victory in the April 14 election so that he can complete the 2013-2019 presidential term that, had he lived, Chavez would have served.
On Tuesday the official campaign period for April 14 presidential election took off with Maduro at Chavez hometown and his main rival Henrique Capriles in the eastern state of Monagas.
All I have is the power of the people. I don't have the support of the courts or the government’s resource Capriles told tens of thousands of his supporters in Maturin, capital of Monagas.
Each one of you should take the campaign to your homes, to your neighbourhoods said Capriles, who was defeated by Chavez in last year's presidential election.
Recent public opinion polls have Capriles ten percentage points behind acting president Maduro.