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Venezuela: Rosales donates Bs.100 million to affected families

By Aleksander Boyd

Valencia 21.10.06 | A type of torrential rain, locally referred to as vaguada, has caused the death of 4 people leaving more than 400 families homeless. It prompted presidential candidate Manuel Rosales to cancel an event today in Barquisimeto. In press conference he informed Venezuelan media that it would have been extremely disrespectful to have taken part in a massive party-like meeting when families in four states, including Lara where Barquisimeto is located, were deeply affected by the rains. Rosales also announced that a modest sum of Bs.100 million [$46.000] -taken from campaign funds- will be donated to affected families in the hope that the Chavez government copies the inititiave and allocates a large chunk of money to kickstart the construction of houses. He reminded the tragedy of Vargas when the government failed to act in responsible fashion, busy as it was celebrating an electoral victory.

The rain also caused some baseball games to be suspended. Venezuelans are deep into the sport. There are two teams that throughout history seem to have gathered the largests following; Leones from Caracas and Navegantes de Magallanes from Carabobo. Every game of these two teams is considered a not-to-be-missed kind of sporting event. Hugo Chavez is a known fan of Magallanes, however it's been a long time since he visited a baseball stadium last to root for his team. The reason? Baseball fans, from both sides, booed him so loudly that the game had to be stopped and he had to leave the premises. Rosales was meant to go to Friday's Leones-Magallanes game. When he was asked about it he said "I will continue going to baseball games. In fact I would like to see the other candidate [Chavez] go. We can meet in stadiums" he concluded sarcastically.

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