Interim Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has attacked supporters of his rival in the April 14 presidential election as being the "heirs of Hitler."
The leftist Hugo Chavez died on March 5 and his vice-president, Maduro, must now run for office in a special election to complete the late leader's term.
His rival is Henrique Capriles, candidate of the unified opposition and the man the cancer-ridden Chavez defeated in an October vote.
The opposition, Maduro said, are the "heirs of Hitler" because they are conducting a campaign of "intolerance" by criticizing the presence of Cuban doctors in Venezuela and local artists that have joined the Maduro campaign.
Capriles ran a positive campaign against Chavez in October, even as the leftist president slammed him as a pampered member of the "rancid oligarchy" taking orders from Washington.
But with Chavez gone, Capriles -- who is Catholic but has Jewish roots -- is tearing into Maduro, who he derides as a cheap Chavez clone and a puppet of Havana.
A mid-March poll of 1,100 people by the firm Hinterlaces shows Maduro with 53 percent support against 35 percent for Capriles.
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Right in the middle of a ceremony marking the birthday of Simon Bolivar, Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/25/bolivar-shrine-venezuela_n_1703046.html">pulled out</a> a pair of pistols that he claimed belonged to the Venezuelan independence hero and his lover Manuela Saenz. (Photo: AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)
In September 2011, Chavez <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2011/0930/Hugo-Chavez-tries-to-silence-health-rumors-with-his-usual-flair">invited</a> reporters to his house to play ball to silence rumors suggesting that he had reached the end of his rope. (Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)
Weeks before starting his first round of chemotherapy , Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/28/hugo-chavez-birthday-venezuelan-president-cancer-summit-_n_911893.html">celebrated </a>his 57th birthday by dancing and singing from a balcony of the presidential palace before a large crowd of supporters.
Drink Juice, Not Coke
Chavez raised eyebrows in July when he urged Venezuelans to drink Venezuelan-made fruit juice instead of the sugary Coca-Cola and Pepsi. "This juice is delicious," Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/hugo-chavez-juice-venezuela_n_1705618.html">said</a>, according to Noticias24. He also advised them to exercise and avoid drugs and alcohol. (Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images)
Following Clint Eastwood's 'invisible Obama' one-man show at the GOP convention in August, Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/venezuela-hugo-chavez-obama-eastwood_n_1862642.html">praised</a> the U.S. president for taking the high road. According to Bloomberg, Chavez said Obama was "classy" and "wise" in his response. (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Upon hearing that the San Francisco Giants had won the 2010 World Series, Chavez <a href="http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/04/hugo-chavez-to-edgar-renteria-we-beat-bushs-team/">interrupted</a> a summit meeting with Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos to call Colombian national hero Edgar Renteria and congratulate him. (Photo: AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Ode to Hillary
While Hillary Clinton was touring Latin America, she reportedly <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/11/chavez-sings-song-about-h_n_609510.html">gave</a> Venezuela some unsolicited fiscal advice. In response, Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/11/chavez-sings-song-about-h_n_609510.html">sang </a>her an improvised tune, saying: "I'm not loved by Hillary Clinton . . . and I don't love her either.."
Chavez called former US President George W Bush "the devil" in a 2006 speech at the United Nations General Assembly. "The devil came here yesterday," he said, referring to Bush's speech on the day before. "It still smells of sulphur today," he added, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5365142.stm">according to the BBC</a>. (Photo: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
While recovering from cancer treatment, Chavez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/10/hugo-chavez-dances-to-rap_n_1003521.html">appeared</a> on national television and rapped along with Venezuelan singer Rodbexa Poleo Vidoza.
Along with close ally Fidel Castro, Chavez reportedly <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/13/fidel-castro-hugo-chavez-colombia-farc-talks">played</a> a key role in brokering a long-stalled peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group. (Photo: AP Photo/Gregorio Marrero, File)