CARACAS, Venezuela – It has been a weekend of political upheaval in Venezuela.
Following the double murder of two of Chávez’s opponents’ supporters, the controversial president has decided to weigh in on the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
In a televised interview that aired Sunday, Chávez put his support behind President Obama saying he'd like to have "normal" relations with the U.S. government.
The Venezuelan leader said in his words that, "If I were American, I'd vote for Obama."
Like President Obama, Chávez is on a re-election campaign of his own, seeking another six years in office in an Oct. 7 vote.
On Sunday a huge crowd filled the streets of Venezuela's capital of Caracas cheering for Chavez’s competition, candidate Henrique Capriles.
Waving flags, the supporters were rallying in the last week leading up to the country's hotly contested presidential election.
Capriles waved from a truck that rolled through the vast expanse of supporters. The crowd filled a downtown avenue and appeared to surpass 100,000 people.
While President Hugo Chávez was leading weekend rallies elsewhere in the country, authorities were investigating the killings of two men in a shooting that erupted during an opposition campaign caravan in western Barinas state on Saturday.
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said in a message on Twitter on Sunday morning that a suspect was arrested in the double murder, but he didn't immediately identify the suspect.
Opposition lawmaker Julio Cesar Reyes said on Saturday that a group of Chávez's supporters blocked the caravan and people on both sides were arguing when a gunman appeared and started shooting.
Opposition officials said both men killed were participants in the motorcade of Capriles supporters.
Chávez, meanwhile, rallied thousands of supporters on Saturday in Guarenas, a town east of Caracas, telling them: "It's impossible for us to lose." The crowd chanted: "Ooh, Ahh, Chávez won't go!"
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.