CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
A campaign "for love" signaled the government path towards President Hugo Chávez's reelection. On the opposite side, after inner debates, Manuel Rosales emerged as the favorite and ran for candidate with "Go on then!" as his motto. Both campaigns, markedly populist in tone, led more than 11 million voters cast their ballots. Chávez won with more than seven million votes, but failed to "stuff 10 million"
Hugo Chávez ran for reelection. He campaigned all over the country, and while did not meet his promise to win 10 million votes, he obtained the largest number of ballots ever in Venezuelan history File Photo: Andrés Mata Foundation / Cheo Pacheco
Hugo Chávez finished 25 percent ahead of his challenger Manuel Rosales, the opposition candidate chosen from the three major political leaders in a diminished anti-Chávez market.
The year passed, politically speaking, with the opposition being at odds as to taking part in the election for president or refraining again, like in the previous year. The potential of primary voting was pondered.
At the end, Rosales took the lead over Julio Borges and Teodoro Petkoff, who eventually rooted for him. The leader born in western Zulia state managed to pool the opposition views; however, he could not keep his promise that he would win and charge. On December 6th, the National Electoral Council proclaimed Chávez as president for the 2007-2013 term.
Presidents Álvaro Uribe, of Colombia, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of Brazil, were also re-elected.
Elsewhere, in Cuba, there was an upturn. Fidel Castro, the leader of the communist revolution, announced his retirement for health reasons, and handed over the command to his brother Raúl.
While there was much speculation about economic changes upon the arrival of the younger Castro, no changes have been made, at least all of a sudden. Cuba's dependence on Venezuela is still effective, and it seems that this relation will not vanish in the near future.
In the meantime, the Venezuelan society underwent the ordeal of increasing insecurity. The murder of brothers John, Bryan and Kevin Faddoul, and their assistant Jason Sanguis, was shocking. People stood awake all night and regretted the cracking of fundamental values.
Not only did values crack in 2006, but also roads. Viaduct one of the Caracas-La Guaira freeway suffered wear and tear and lack of maintenance. Passage was prohibited beginning the year. Few months later, the viaduct collapsed after crunching like a cookie.
The chaos caused by the road fracture between Caracas and its main port was barely relieved by the construction and commissioning of an alternate, winding road of 2.8 kilometers long, termed "the trail" by users.
Politics, the priority under the Venezuelan current government, prevailed again in Christmas time. After winning the ballots, President Chávez, during a salutation to the armed forces on the occasion of the New Year, announced on December 28th that his government would not renew a broadcast concession to RCTV, the private pioneer channel in the country. The claims arisen since then did not prevent the implementation of the measure the next year in May.
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