American right-wingers are conspiring to take action in Venezuela and kill ... its pro-business opposition leader Henrique Capriles? That's the theory being pushed by acting president Nicolas Maduro, reports Reuters. "We have detected plans by the far right, linked to the groups of (former Bush administration officials) Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, to make an attempt against the opposition presidential candidate," he claimed in a speech yesterday, adding that the government has offered to provide Capriles with security. "It's absolute nonsense," countered Noriega. Maduro, you'll recall, also claimed in January that unidentified groups were trying to assassinate him and has started an inquiry into whether Hugo Chavez was poisoned.
Capriles will face off against Maduro in the April 14 presidential vote, and the mudslinging has already begun: Maduro has apparently been implying that the single Capriles is gay. "I do have a wife, you know? I do like women!" said Maduro at a recent rally, while also calling his opponent a "little princess." Maduro backpedaled yesterday, saying he respected the privacy of others. Of course, "If I were homosexual I would be proud about it and I would love whoever I loved with my heart, without problem," he said.