"The opposition has to accept bluntly the challenge of confronting Chávez. It is evident that we must talk about the country's problems. But it is hypocritical and artificial to debate the consequences without talking about the causes.
"We understand that the opposition is diverse, but consensus can be reached even among people with opposing views. How many times have we heard that the opposition has no leader? There are some people that think that we have to build our own Chávez. We have no Messiah because we have many independent people, political parties and civil society organizations, and the candidate we must choose must have a broad and pluralistic vision. We must have a very specific and realistic platform based on decentralization and independence of powers.
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.