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Take physic, pomp

A few people who’ll probably be voting “NO” on February 15th

In Caracas today, opposition to Chávez’s February 15th constitutional referendum vote that will let him (and all other politicos) run again for office put on an impressive and peaceful march. The route was 10.2km long and the turnout was put at 600,000 by the organizers. That numbers sounds overexaggerated to lil ol’ me, but on the other hand the gov’t is bullshitting when it says the turnout was low. What with one thing and another, you can bank on there being 300,000 people in the merry parade, a very tidy number. Here’s the Reuters version of the proceedings and here’s how Bloomie covered the march today.

As for the opinion polls, recent ones from the more respected firms (e.g. datanalisis, which although not perfect isn’t bad) put the balance in favour of the “YES” vote that Hugo wants by 51.5% to 48%, more or less, with the momentum in the YES favour. Let’s see if today’s march can turn the tide in any way. Friends of Otto in Venezuela witha more-or-less neutral political view say that the whole caboodle will depend on the turnout on polling day, with the more people voting the better it is for Hugo.

So the stage is set for the last week before the vote. Make no mistake, this is a big moment for Chávez and Venezuela and will set the tone for years to come. Personally it’s a tough one to call, so i’ll limit myself to hoping that the peaceful attitude of both Chávez supporters and opposition shown so far (with a few Molotov-esque exceptions) is extended all the way through.

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