HAVANA TIMES — The interim president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, denied today that he is homophobic or having made insinuations about the sexual orientation of his rival in the elections of April 14, Henrique Capriles.
“I didn’t address the sex life of the opposition candidate and he feels alluded to and responds against me as if I have said something about his life. I respect him,” Maduro said during the opening of the Caracas Book Fair.
Maduro also said that the Venezuelan Constitution recognizes the rights for sexual minorities and that at the time it was being drafted the opposition tried to prevent these figures from being introduced.
“If I were gay I would assume it with pride in public and love who I love with my heart. No problem, because the worst homophobic is the person who discriminates against his own,” he added.
The issue, one of several that have seen the two candidates square off verbally, grew after a rally when Maduro called his wife to come on stage where he was speaking, “because I do I have a wife, Yes I like women,” which was played by various sectors as an allusion to Capriles being single with no known relationship at age 40.
Capriles had responded: “I reject Nicolas’ homophobic statements today. It’s not the first time. I believe in a society without exclusion… where no one feels excluded by race, creed, social status, sexual orientation.”
The opposition leader added that homophobia is an expression “of fascism and the extreme right.”