Venezuela Presidential Election 2013 LIVE Stream: Watch the Results Online

Venezuelans started to vote to elect the OPEC country's next president between Chavista Nicolas Maduro and opponent Henrique Capriles, after the passing in March of the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez — who lost a battle with cancer, as he had been elected for a third consecutive six-year term in October 2012. Capriles, a popular right-of-center  governor, who was incarcerated by the Chavez regime in 2002, for supposedly attacking the Cuban embassy in Caracas, during a brief coup against Chavez, lost to El Comandante last year by ten points (still, the closest election faced by the late Bolivarian leader in his 14-year rule). Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader who was Chavez's vice president, is, however, the favorite to win today as he counts not only with the Revolución resources and infrastructure but also with what the opposition denounces as the support of the Venezuelan Electoral Council, which is not independent from the country's executive. Datanalisis, a local pollster, had put Maduro ahead of Capriles by as much as ten percent points last week, but a series of recent missteps by Chavez's successor — who claimed the late socialist leader "appeared" to him "as a bird" and cast a curse on those who didn't intend to vote for him — seems to have fueled a late surge by Capriles who hasn't stopped denouncing Venezuela's high inflation and crime (the highest in the continent) as well as what he says are the regime's "abuses of power."