Chavez attacks rival at massive hometown rally

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sang, greeted throngs of supporters and launched a searing attack on his rival as he stormed into the final stretch of his re-election campaign.

Chavez rode a caravan through a jubilant crowd of thousands clad in his leftist party's red in his hometown of Sabaneta, the start of a tour taking him to six states over three days before Sunday's vote.

"I salute my dear town. I salute this nest of my life," Chavez said, pointing out how big the local trees had grown since his childhood in the southwestern town of 40,000 people. "Viva Sabaneta! Viva la revolucion!"

While the left-wing leader, in power for 14 years, remains favorite to win a new six-year term in the election, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has closed the gap by half to 10 points in the latest opinion poll.

In a new attack against Capriles, Chavez accused his rival's campaign of receiving cash from drug trafficking.

"These great businessmen have brought a lot of money to his campaign, and it has come from abroad too, from fugitive bankers, some mafias, money laundering, drug trafficking," Chavez told reporters.

Chavez did not provide more details to back his accusation.

The opposition says 80 percent of the Capriles campaign funds come from raffles, street fundraising and Internet donations. Chavez's opponents counter that the president misuses public funds to promote his re-election bid.

One day after addressing hundreds of thousands of people in Caracas, Capriles took his campaign to the southern states of Amazonas and Bolivar on Monday, voicing confidence that he could pull off a major upset.

"I do not think that this is going to be a close race. I think we can win by more than one million votes," Capriles told foreign reporters. "This government will not have a hard time acknowledging its defeat."

With just days to go before Sunday's election, Chavez charged that a Capriles victory would mark the return to power of "the bourgeoisie, big corruption and the Yankee (US) empire."

Later Chavez addressed another rally in the northwestern town of San Carlos, where he declared the "bourgeoisie has plans to destabilize" the country and the "far right plans to not recognize the people's victory."

In New York, Venezuelan ambassador Jorge Valero told the UN General Assembly "national anti-democratic and pro-coup sectors, allied with powerful foreign interests, plan to use violence to reject the will of the people."

The campaign was marred by violence on Saturday when two Capriles supporters were shot dead while heading to a rally in Barinas state.

The head of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, praised the government for ordering an investigation but voiced "concerns over the possibility of an increase in incidents of political violence."

During his Sabaneta tour, Chavez, who says he has beaten cancer, returned to his old energetic style, sending greetings to old neighbors, friends and relatives while recounting childhood memories and breaking into song.

"At that other street corner, over there, is where I was born," the 58-year-old former paratrooper said.

With music blaring in the background, his fans tried to get near Chavez to shake his hand or pass personal notes.

"He's the best president we've ever had," said 60-year-old Juana de Sanjuan, who tends animals in her farm and receives a pension thanks to one of the government's popular social "missions."

"He cares about the poor. If another becomes president, it will all be over and Venezuela will be a disaster again," she said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • No coercion, force in sea row – France
    No coercion, force in sea row – France

    France renewed its call for a peaceful resolution of the West Philippine Sea dispute during a meeting between its leader President Francois Hollande and President Aquino at Malacañang. “We reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia and promoting maritime security, freedom of navigation and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” Aquino said in a statement …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options