TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Venezuela opposition rallies despite dismal expectations

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 9:45 p.m.
 

CARACAS — A general expectation that Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor will win next weekend's presidential election didn't dim the spirits of more than 100,000 backers of challenger Henrique Capriles, who jammed the capital's center on Sunday.

Most of the people who converged by foot in the city center on a hot, sunny afternoon tried to shrug off forecasts of victory for Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in as acting president when Hugo Chavez died March 5 following a long battle with cancer.

Capriles said the big turnout in the capital was evidence that he'd win at the ballot box on Sunday.

“Today the streets of Caracas were filled with happiness, today the streets of Caracas were filled with hope, today the streets of Caracas confirm what's going to happen,” Capriles said.

Chavez had defeated Capriles in October, but by the slimmest margin of his 14-year tenure as president.

Maduro, who rose from bus driver and union organizer to foreign minister under Chavez, is expected to benefit from an emotional outpouring of solidarity among Chavistas who have benefited from the generous social welfare state he created under the socialist banner.

But many critics contend that Maduro has been saddled with a fiscal hangover because of heavy Chavez spending before October's vote.

Jesus Barroso, a 52-year-old retiree, said he believes Maduro will win handily next Sunday. But he predicted Maduro would not be able complete the six-year term because economic and social woes would prompt Venezuelans to remove him through a recall.

“I don't think he'll last very long in the presidency,” Barroso said.

Supporters of Capriles chanted anti-government slogans and waved red, yellow and blue Venezuelan flags as they converged on a main avenue in downtown Caracas.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. 2nd American journalist beheaded as ISIS jihadist taunts, ‘I’m back, Obama’
  2. U.S. airstrikes target leader of al-Shabab
  3. Rights group accuses Islamic State of ‘ethnic cleansing’
  4. Russian-backed separatists’ aggression evident in attack
  5. Obama to reassure NATO on Ukraine
  6. Saudis arrest 88 accused of ties to al-Qaida
  7. CDC chief urges heightened response to Ebola outbreak
  8. United Kingdom at risk, new poll finds
  9. Attack on Egypt security kills 11
  10. Foes of Pakistani PM labeled as ‘terrorists’ as protests continue
  11. Ukraine rejects Russia’s call for cease-fire, warns of ‘great war’ against Russian aggressor
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.