CARACAS, Venezuela — A portrait of Hugo Chavez stares down from a black metal frame as Jose Pastano sips coffee after dinner with his sons in the slum house he shares with 17 relatives on the western edge of the capital.

Leaning forward in his chair, the retired bus mechanic chides his children for backing Venezuela's opposition, calling them "blind and deaf" and ungrateful for all that the late president had done for the country."

In a country evenly split between the ruling party and opposition, countless families have been torn apart by political divisions, mirroring tensions that have spilled out into in the street in sometimes bloody fashion.