Chavez 'Heir' Wins Venezuela Election, Recount Demanded

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The socialist revolution in Venezuela may continue after a razor-thin special presidential election.

Nicolas Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the late president Hugo Chavez, has won by less than 235,000 votes -- the narrowest margin since the 1968 presidential election.

But challenger Henrique Capriles says he won't accept the results and is calling for a full recount.

"We are not going to recognize any results until each vote of the Venezuelan people is counted," Capriles said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Maduro's supporters cheered as he spoke from the presidential palace.

"We are calling for respect of the results," Maduro said. "If they want do an audit they are welcome to do it. They can do whatever audit they want to do. We trust in the Venezuelan electoral system. We welcome an audit."

A long-time foreign minister under Chavez, Maduro has been serving as acting president since Chavez died last month after a long battle with cancer.

Maduro's victory followed an often ugly campaign in which he promised to carry on the Chavez legacy.

Capriles' main message was that Chavez brought one of the most oil rich nations in the world to the brink of ruin.

Venezuela's economy has been in a shambles, with 22 percent inflation, power outages and food shortages.

Crime has also skyrocketed, tripling under Chavez, and Caracas is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

And while some of Venezuela's oil money was used to alleviate poverty, a lot of it went to further Chavez so-called anti-American revolution.

Venezuelans living in South Florida traveled to New Orleans by bus to vote in the election. Many had hopes for a return to full democracy in their homeland.

Both Nicholas Maduro and Henrique Capriles are urging their supporters to refrain from violence over the election results.  

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.