Presidencial Elections in Venezuela
Friday, December 1st
You can't go anywhere in Caracas, these days, with out seeing banners reading, "Chavez No Se Va!!" Elections are only 2 days away on Sunday, December 3rd. As of Thursday the schools of Venezuela have been closed and have been taken over by election officials in order to make sure elections will run smoothly. However, many Venezuelans believe that the elections will run no where near to smooth.
I'm based out of a one of the most established community radio station titled, "Radio Negro Premiro." link to fmnegroprimero.iespana.es. This station, along with many others, is currently hard at work planning electoral coverage.
As of today at 6am both Hugo Chavez of the Fifth Republic Movement and Manuel Rosales of The New Era party, according to law, have had to cease campaigning. The majority of polls are showing a large margin in favour of Chavez. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_presidential_election%2C_2006 Most people are expecting Hugo Chavez to be re-elected as President of Venezuela; however, according to many are preparing for possible accusations of election fraud from the Manuel Rosales´ opposition party. There are rumours Chavistas have infiltrated the opposition party, and have found that the The New Era Party has plans afoot to discredit the electoral process. It has been said that t-shirts stating FRUADE, or fraud in English, have already been printed. It is also feared that opposition party members plan to intentionally vote for Chavez, and then accuse the machines of selecting the wrong candidate. Already from one pulling station there is a report that the three main election officials have not appeared for there duty, thus disrupting the election process.
The radio stations are banning together to cover the elections in order to prove that the elections are fair. Radio stations from each district are planning on both transmitting via locally their radio stations, via live web streaming, and remotely. Each station will be transmitting mobile on trucks equipped with video cameras, audio recorders, radio transmitters, and a kitchen. They intend to drive from pulling station to pulling station documenting the electoral process, and hopefully defend the Chavez victory. People will begin lining up to vote at 3am on Sunday morning; so, it will be a long day for the radio staff but hopefully productive.
At this point I am unaware if there are plans for after the election and how to handle the opposition protests and international media coverage. Organizing in Venezuela seems to happen poco a poco, little by little.