Venezuela's Hugo Chavez faces stiff challenge in today's election

Jim Kouri
Elections Examiner

Venezuelans are voting today as their President, Hugo Chavez, and his socialist agenda face a rival who is a favorite with people who are upset with the Chavez government’s cronyism and the rampant crime.

Henrique Capriles, a governor, poses a true threat to Chavez following a politically-savvy campaign that unites moderates and conservatives making Capriles a via alternative to Chavez’s iron-fisted rule.

During his own campaign, Chavez went on record as endorsing U.S. President Barack Obama for re-election. However, the Obama campaign and the compliant America news media ignored the revealing endorsement.

Chavez has cautioned voters that should he lose in the upcoming presidential election on the Oct. 7, 2012, a civil war is likely to erupt.

“If the right-wing’s presidential candidate gets into (office), it would put an end to the social programs promoted during 14 years of government, and as a result the country would enter into a civil war,” Chavez said on Saturday, according to the state-run Venezuelan News Agency (AVN)…

…Should Chavez lose the election and a civil war erupts, he may be likely to depend on the Iranian intelligence and military personnel currently in Venezuela along with members of Hezbollah who now reside in that Latin American country.

Read the complete article at Elections Examiner.

Also, Venezuela election result set to upset global oil politics. Hugo Chávez promises to increase production and reduce dependence on US market by doubling crude exports to Asia:

…According to studies, Venezuela has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become number one in the world for proven oil reserves, largely thanks to the heavy crude found in this vast alluvial plain.

Whether this multi-trillion dollar asset is controlled by Hugo Chávez or the opposition challenger, Henrique Capriles, will influence which countries and companies are given the priority to exploit them and how much drivers around the world pay at the pump. According to a report this year by BP, Venezuela has reserves of 296.5bn barrels, about 10% more than Saudi Arabia and 18% of the global total. At the country’s current levels of production, this would last about 100 years.

If Chávez wins – as most polls suggest – he has promised to ramp up production and reduce his country’s dependence on the US market by doubling crude exports to Asia. To further this goal, Venezuela plans to build a pipeline through Colombia to the Pacific which would reduce costs and transport times to China and other Asian markets.

Capriles, who has mounted a strong challenge, says he would fire the oil minister, Rafael Ramírez, and rethink how crude is extracted and used. Until now Russian and Chinese companies have struck the biggest deals for future exploitation…

Update: Si, se puede! Come Hell or High Water They Will Vote

It seems the recent American Airlines grounding isn’t the only obstical in the way of those wanting to vote in Venezuela’s approaching election. Chavez shuts down the Miami consulate so Venezuela’s expats trek to New Orleans to vote by the tens of thousands… Venezuelan citizens living as expatriates in Miami are trekking to New Orleans to vote…

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