During an opening ceremony for several new public internet access centers, Chavez said that he will soon present a decree mandating that the Venezuelan public administration use free software, such as Linux, instead of proprietary software, such as Windows.
Ezequiel Zamora, considered to be sympathetic to the opposition, resigned from the National Electoral Council today, citing his disagreement over the council's rejection of the fraud accusations, among other things.
In a speech he gave from the border town of Guasdalito, near where six Venezuelans were killed in a recent border skirmish, Chavez announced that the Venezuelan military would have a humanitarian in the future.
Five of the small opposition groups have decided to leave the opposition's umbrella grouping, the Democratic Coordinator. The main reason is that they believe that the opposition should not participate in the upcoming regional elections.
Last weekend six were killed and this week six more dead were discovered. It is unclear who is behind the deaths, except that they appear to have been irregular forces, such as either the colombian guerillas or paramilitary forces.
Responding to a proposal to amend the constitution, President Chavez said that he does not favor indefinite reelections of the president and that he would be a candidate for that office only one more time, in 2006, when his current term expires.
While Venezuelan and Brazilian businesses signed trade agreements, Presidents Lula and Chavez discussed regional integration and the creation of a South American TV channel and of a South American oil company.
Cesar Gaviria, who is leaving as Secretary General of the Organization of American States, submitted the final report on his observation of the referendum process. The report provided ammunition for both the government and the opposition.
During his weekly television program Chavez announced the creation of several new ministries, including a ministry of "popular economy," which will direct several institutions that support micro-finance, cooperatives, and adult education.
Yesterday, the opposition grouping Democratic Coordinator submitted a challenge of the presidential recall referendum to the electoral council. The analysis lists numerous irregularities in the referendum, all of which Chavez supporters have denied.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided over $5 to Venezuelan groups over the past two years, most of which are active in the opposition. Among the recipients is the opposition NGO Súmate.
According to Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S., opinion groups and political sectors in Washington are urging opposition leaders to accept the results of the recall referendum, and drop their claims of fraud.