It wasn’t supposed to go this way. When the Venezuelan government announced in March that it would hold elections on April 14 to replace the deceased former President Hugo Chávez everything seemed to favor Chávez’s handpicked replacement, Vice President Nicolás Maduro. Only six months earlier, Chávez – battling cancer at the time, though it was unknown to the voters – handily beat the same opposition candidate Hernique Capriles by 11 percent.

Los resultados electorales del pasado domingo en Venezuela no solo desafiaron todas las encuestas que apuntaban a una holgada victoria del oficialista Nicolás Maduro—heredero del fallecido Hugo Chávez—sobre el opositor Henrique Capriles, sino también atizaron la polarización en  la nación con mayores reservas mundiales de crudo.

Nicolás Maduro’s election victory was certified by the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral—CNE) on Monday in the midst of claims by the Venezuelan opposition of electoral fraud during Sunday’s presidential election. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has refused to recognize the outcome of the election and thousands of opposition members are protesting the results.

Exclusive photos from the presidential election on April 14, 2013.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Maduro narrowly wins Venezuela elections; U.S. senators to release immigration legislation; Guantánamo prison standoff escalates; Mexican teachers plan more protests this week; Chile’s Michelle Bachelet begins her campaign.

Durante la última década los venezolanos han vivido cada contienda electoral como una batalla en la que se juegan la vida o la muerte.

The whirlwind presidential campaign between Nicolás Maduro and Henrique Capriles Radonski is now officially over in Venezuela.


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