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Venezuela: Video clip of opposition's campaign closing rally

By Aleksander Boyd

London 12 August 2004 - As the biggest day for Venezuela's democracy approaches I just want to touch briefly upon today's rally and the hard-headed acumen shared by some oil analysts around who feel that Chavez' permanence in power is the best for the oil market.

Firstly here is a video of the march at this time in Caracas' Francisco Fajardo highway. And here is another video clip of Maracaibo's rally. Never in history was Chavez capable of summoning such a huge number of people to the streets of Caracas, not even when the country was infatuated with him. The take away message of the day is that regardless of the extraordinary amount of funds that have been wasted of late to buyout voter's loyalty, those who genuinely oppose the president need not bribes and paid bus rides to show up at rallies.

Secondly a string of ludicrous statements, for lack of a harsher term, given by oil analysts suggesting that Chavez permanence in power will only appease market volatility makes one believe that indeed the Venezuelan president has somewhat a good impact on the market. Well I could not disagree more with the geniuses observing the market for one of the reasons that prices have been rather 'nervous' lately is precisely the uncertainty of the outcome of Sunday's recall referendum. Furthermore Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez himself, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez and other more obscure figures of chavismo --but equally vitriolic-- such as union leader Ramon Machuca, have declared REPEATEDLY to the media in the last month that Venezuela may cut oil sales to the US. Now given the investiture of the individuals making such statements I can not help but wonder what sort of rationale do these utterly inept analysts apply for I am yet to hear one such statement coming from the opposition. Hugo Chavez' delusions and irrational decisions most definitely qualify in my taxonomic dictionary as uncertain. But what do I know? After all I am only an unemployed bellman remember?

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