In pictures: Caracas campaigning closes

Venezuela's presidential candidates make their last pitch to voters ahead of Sunday's election.


Caracas, Venezuela - Official campaigning ahead of Venezuela's election closed on Thursday night, as interim president Nicolas Maduro and opposition challenger Henrique Capriles made their final speeches to voters.

Hundreds of thousands rallied in Caracas, the capital, to support Maduro. Some wore the trademark red shirts of the Socialist Party and fake mustaches in the bushy style of their candidate.

Capriles supporters mobilised in Barquisimeto, in Lara state, where their nominee promised major changes to the country that is believed to hold the world's largest oil reserves. 

Sunday's election will be the first without Hugo Chavez in 14 years. The populist former army officer died of cancer last month, and the interim leader is attempting to capitalise on his legacy.

More than 15 million Venezuelans are eligible to cast ballots on Sunday, April 14. The end of campaigning means political advertisements need to be withdrawn from the news media and alcohol sales are prohibited.

Follow Chris Arsenault on Twitter: @AJEchris