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Venezuelan Opposition Stages Final Campaign March in Caracas

Caracas, October 1 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Thousands of campaign marchers for the Venezuelan opposition turned out in Caracas last Sunday in the final rally of the MUD's (Roundtable of Democratic Unity) electoral campaign.

Supporters of the right wing coalition turned out from across the country to show their support for the MUD's presidential candidate, Capriles Radonski, who will face incumbent socialist president, Hugo Chavez, in the country's presidential elections this Sunday.

Decked out in t-shirts adorned with the names of the various parties that make up the coalition, the supporters chanted slogans such as “Chavez, the truth is, you’ve only got one week left,” and “this government is going down”. Many reports in the media stress that the turnout for the march surpassed the opposition's expectations.

The rally spanned out across central Caracas was mostly good natured, with many of the marchers taking the time to peruse some of the capital's shops and eateries. Many appeared to be families and pensioners and streets were mostly quiet by 7pm.

During his speech to the crowd, Capriles criticised the government for having failed to deliver on a series of community projects and demanded justice for three activists killed at an opposition march in Barinas on Saturday.

“On October 7th the opposition will defeat the violent ones,” said Capriles, adding that the MUD did not “believe in the political opinion polls, because the polls are right here in this street,”.

The opposition candidate has consistently eschewed the issue of class in his speeches and has accused Chavez of dividing the country.

“How can we talk about independence in a country when the electricity cuts out, when there are expropriations? True independence is a safe country with electricity... I have demonstrated that I am looking for the trust of those Venezuelans that want to build a country for everyone, not just a political party,” said Capriles.

Both presidential candidates for next Sunday's elections are currently wrapping up their campaigns, with Chavez having visited five states over the past week. On Sunday, the socialist president, who is tipped to win the elections, told voters not to believe in the promises of the right-wing coalition and made reference to a leaked document which revealed a MUD neo-liberal economic program.

“The bourgeoisie wanted to hide their neo-liberal package, there is the bourgeoisie with its plans to hand over Venezuela once again to the transnational powers, to hand over PDVSA (state oil company) to the national upper class and imperialism,” said Chavez.

Capriles had previously maintained that he would implement a center-left program similar to that of Brazil's Lula. The leaking of the document has highlighted the principal differences between the two contenders ahead of this Sunday's elections and intensified political activism amongst the pro-Chavez camp.

The closing march for Chavez supporters will take place this Thursday. Citizens are expected to turn out from across the country to participate.

Published on Oct 2nd 2012 at 11.28am