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Live blogging Venezuela's presidential race

By Aleksander Boyd

Caracas 02.12.06 [4:54pm all times are local] | This post will be updated regularly in the next 48 hours. Unfortunately the campaign ended. In the last three months Manuel Rosales did what all analysts thought impossible, which is to have united the opposition mounting a phenomenal platform against the incumbent. At this time tomorrow we will have a pretty clear idea of who won. Just then I sat in a meeting with advisors that are considering the different likely outcomes and the stance that Rosales should take in each of them. Very interesting times ahead. During instalation of voting centres, composed by a varying number of booths -locally known as mesas- a rather peculiar thing happened: all witnesses and observers designated by the Rosales camp showed up whereas its counterparts from officialdom did not. A sign of things to come?

6:10pm: A rumour about a MVR's deputy distributing weapons in barrios of Caracas, La Pastora more especifically, is gathering wind. The name of Reinaldo Garcia has been mentioned, although no evidence has surfaced.

6:56pm: Spreading gossip and rumours seems to be the favorite past time of some rank and file oppositionists. I just talked to a retired high rank army officer -whose name I can't reveal- and, in his view, Rosales does not stand a chance for the regime will roll out some sort of destabilization plan at noon tomorrow. His opinion however is the opposite of what some active low rank military have told me; they are so fed up of being spied upon, hassled and mistreated that they can't wait to get rid of Chavez and, most certainly, they refuse to kill fellow Venezuelans for some detached revolutionary ideal. In some quarters it is believed that Chavez' militias and urban guerrilla groups sympathetic to the caudillo will be ordered to wreak havoc and disrupt the election.

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