Working to provoke discussion and provide up-to-date information and analysis on US-Venezuelan relations, politics, policies, and culture.

For Chávez, Firm Rule and Favors: Venezuelan President Expected to Win Easily in Sunday Vote

This country's populist president, Hugo Chávez, beloved by his followers, has achieved a cultlike status by mixing his considerable charisma with a free-spending policy of funneling billions into social programs. But that hasn't stopped his oil-rich government from using every tool at its disposal to ensure that voters flock to its side in Sunday's presidential election.

Ramon Antonio Perez, 41, found that out the hard way. Never shy about expressing his dislike for the government, Perez said he was fired from his job in the publicly run Caracas subway system after ignoring repeated warnings about his political activities. "From night to day," he said, "I've been left with nothing."

At the state oil company, a young lawyer -- also opposed to the government -- described how the red T-shirts government supporters wear are handed out in bulk to workers, who are then expected to don them for pro-Chávez rallies.

Go to the full article here.


Post a Comment

<< Home