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Venezuela's Maduro launches campaign from Chavez's childhood home

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Caracas, Apr 2 (EE).- Ruling-party presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday at the childhood home of late Venezuelan head of state Hugo Chavez that he felt that his deceased mentor appeared to him in the form of a "little bird" and blessed him.

"I felt it here like it was giving us a blessing, telling us: 'Today the battle gets started. Go on to victory. Have our blessings.' That's what I felt in my soul," said Maduro on the patio of Chavez's birthplace in the western state of Barinas.

Maduro, who was accompanied by Chavez's siblings, said that while he was praying in a small chapel on Tuesday morning - and finding himself completely alone - the bird appeared and he communicated with it by whistling.

"Suddenly a little bird, very tiny, entered and went three times around me up here," he said indicating his head and imitating the bird's flapping.

The bird, Maduro continued somewhat emotionally, "landed on a wooden beam and began to whistle, a pretty whistling," he said, imitating it.

"I kept watching it and I also whistled to it ... 'If you whistle, I'll whistle,' and I whistled. The little bird looked at me strangely, no? It whistled for a moment, it flew around me once and left and I felt (Chavez's) spirit," he remarked.

Maduro, who has been acting president since Chavez died March 5 after a 21-month battle with cancer, is seeking victory in the April 14 election so that he can complete the 2013-2019 presidential term that, had he lived, Chavez would have served.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130402/venezuelas-maduro-launches-campaign-chavezs-childhood-home