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Venezuelans Square Off Over Race, Oil and a Populist Political Slogan

“Mi negra” is an almost untranslatable term of endearment used in rich and poor households in this racially mixed country, with a definition somewhere between “My dark-skinned woman” and “My dear.”

Now, it also has another meaning. In a reference to the color of oil, President Hugo Chávez’s main electoral challenger chose Mi Negra as the name of a banking card he proposes that would transfer oil revenues directly to the poor.

Few other projects point so succinctly to the populism that permeates the campaigns of both Mr. Chávez and the top contender to unseat him, Manuel Rosales, governor of the oil-producing Zulia State, leading to the elections on Dec. 3.

Go to full New York Times article here.


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