- Title: VENEZUELA: LATEST REACTIONS TO GOVERNMENT WIN IN REFERENDUM.
- Date: 18th August 2004
- Summary: (U7) CARACAS, VENEZUELA (AUGUST 17, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV: VARIOUS OF STREET SCENES, TRAFFIC (5 SHOTS) 0.31 2. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARACAS RESIDENT CARLOS MONTOYA SAYING: "I do not agree with the results but I also don't agree with the way the opposition called everyone into the streets. That is not the way to understand each other." 3. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARACAS RESIDENT WILLIAM HERNANDEZ SAYING: "(With the victory) this government will continue and those projects that helps the country develop will also continue. The best thing is to continue with the programs and Chavez has a lot of programs." 1.03 4. GV: STREET SCENE 1.09 5. GV/CU: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOSE VICENTE RANGEL; MEDIA (2 SHOTS) 1.15 7. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RANGEL SAYING: "After five years in power, President Chavez has approximately three million more votes than he did in 1998 when he won the presidency." 1.30 8. GV/MV: MEMBERS OF OPPOSITION RIDICULING AND INSULTING SUPPORTER OF CHAVEZ (3 SHOTS) 1.53 9. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION SPOKESPERSON WILLIAM DAVILA SAYING: "I think that the best service we can provide the government is to continue fighting amongst ourselves (referring to the division in the opposition's coalition). I think the important thing in this case is that we understand what is happening, interpret the people's sentiments and really start with an organized process of resistance that is civilized, democratic, with positive discussions and with a lot of energy." 2.10 10. GV: VARIOUS OF STREET SCENES (4 SHOTS) 2.33 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2004 13:00
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Reuters ID: LVABHWZ332V7QAASRPP37HC8FBAJ
- Story Text: Venezuela's government continues to celebrate the
resounding win in Sunday's referendum as opposition leaders
work on reunifying.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has gained fresh
energy for his left-wing populist "revolution" and new
democratic credentials with his resounding win in Sunday's
His stunned opponents, who had focused their campaign
on portraying him as an inept dictator afraid of elections,
are now licking their wounds. They must repair their
battered image if they hope to challenge Chavez in the next
presidential election in 2006.
"After five years in power, President Chavez has
approximately three million more votes than he did in 1998
when he won the presidency," Vice President Jose Vicente
Rangel told reporters on Tuesday (August 17) during a news
Basking in international recognition of his victory,
the Venezuelan leader is promising to accelerate his
policies to spread the petro-dollar riches of the world's
No. 5 oil exporter more fairly among its largely poor
The opposition polled 42 percent, a crushing
disappointment for a broad but fractious coalition which
had staked all on unseating the voluble former paratrooper
who dismisses them as a rich but selfish minority.
Already suffering from internal recriminations over
their defeat, opposition leaders are crying fraud, although
international observers have endorsed Chavez's victory.
"I think that the best service we can provide the
government is to continue fighting amongst ourselves
(referring to the division in the opposition's coalition).
I think the important thing in this case is that we
understand what is happening, interpret the people's
sentiments and really start with an organized process of
resistance that is civilized, democratic, with positive
discussions and with a lot of energy," William Davila,
spokesperson for the opposition coalition, said.
Record high oil prices will initially help the fiery
nationalist maintain the generous social spending that has
been a hallmark of his rule since he was first elected in
Relieved financial and oil markets greeted his win as
the least risky short-term scenario for oil-rich Venezuela,
which has been pummelled over the last three years by often
violent conflict over his policies.
These markets used to wince at Chavez's acerbic
anti-capitalist rhetoric but they recognize that his
self-styled "revolutionary" government is careful to pay
its debts on time and practices a pragmatic financial
Nevertheless, the small Caracas stock exchange fell 4.3
percent on Tuesday, dragged down by a sell-off in leading
stocks following Chavez's referendum victory.
Opposition leaders insist the referendum was tainted by
fraud and accuse the government of manipulating voting
machines to overturn what they assert was a win for the
anti-Chavez vote. They demand an exhaustive one-by-one
count of all the confirmation paper ballots produced by the
But their calls for protests have received a muted
response among a population weary of months of political
Opposition bitterness increased when gunmen opened fire
on the protest, killing one person and injuring six others.
But opposition leaders ruled out any future attempts to
topple Chavez by force, such as the 2002 coup which briefly
ousted him and the gruelling general strike 19 months ago
which, far from hurting him, actually strengthened his
The United States, Venezuela's biggest oil client whom
Chavez has accused of trying to overthrow him, has told the
opposition it must prove its fraud charges. Church and
business leaders -- no friends of Chavez -- called for
On media talk shows, frustrated anti-Chavez voters are
already venting their anger against the opposition
leadership. Many criticize them for spending more time
talking on television than campaigning in poor slums and
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