Chavez as 'little bird'? Get help, Venezuelan leader told

Caracas, April 4 : A leader of the Venezuelan opposition has said that ruling-party presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro should undergo a "mental evaluation" for saying that late head of state Hugo Chavez had appeared to him in the form of a little bird.

"Someone who tells us ... that he is hallucinating, seeing a little bird and that that little bird is giving him instructions, obviously that requires that an evaluation be made of Mr. Nicolas Maduro's mental equilibrium," Leopoldo Lopez told reporters Wednesday.

Lopez, a member of the campaign of opposition presidential hopeful Henrique Capriles, thus expressed rejection of Maduro's remarks made Tuesday, when he said that while he was praying alone in a Catholic chapel in Chavez's native state of Barinas, the dead president appeared to him as a "tiny little bird".

Maduro Wednesday reconfirmed what he had said and rejected the criticism against him, saying that "the bourgeoisie" does not respect his spirituality.

"I related something very simple that happened to me yesterday. Yes, it happened to me, it happened to me. And I feel happy that it happened to me, it's my spirituality and it made me want to share it with the people," he said during an electoral event in the state of Tachira.

The issue came up at the start of the campaign for the April 14 national election and quickly became a focus of commentary and jokes on the social networks.

Maduro and Capriles are vying to serve out the 2013-19 term of Chavez, who died March 5 after a nearly two-year battle with cancer.

--IANS (Posted on 04-04-2013)

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