Venezuelan opposition candidate slaps another in front of EU chief observer

The Venezuelan opposition politician Raúl Yusef, candidate for governor of the southern state of Bolívar, slapped this Wednesday the also anti-Chavista and aspiring regional president Americo De Grazia in front of the head of the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union (EU-MOE), Isabel Saints.

As can be seen in the images recorded by the multi-state channel Telesur, De Grazia, of the Ecological Movement, received a first blow from a member of Yusef’s team, a candidate for the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) coalition.

Later, Yusef gave him a second blow while his supporters rebuked him, as can be seen in the images released by Telesur correspondent Madelein Garcia.

After the incident, De Grazia, who did not defend himself or return the blows, considered that the attack was part of “the hazards of the trade” in Bolívar, a state on the border with Brazil that he aspires to govern.

“That is the job of this region, where violence has been permanently cultivated in this way, but we are not going to enter. I believe that it is an act of desperation and we are not going to fall into that terrain, ”said the candidate and former opposition deputy to Telesur.

He emphasized that the meeting place “is not a boxing ring” and he attended “not because of a boxer”, but “because of a politician” who was invited by the EU-EOM.

For his part, Santos downplayed what he described as “a small incident in a highly polarized electoral environment as happens in many parts of the world.”

Next Sunday, Venezuelans are called to elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 legislators to the Legislative Councils and 2,471 councilors. EFE