When the Avenida Bolívar at the Underground-station La Hoyada was already completely covered until Bellas Artes, yet no end of the human stream was to be seen on the city motorway of Caracas. The demonstration for the celebration of "3 years Bolivarian Revolution" had been organized by the left wing socialist parties in power MVR, Podemos and PPT, however was also supported by the autonomous city districts organisations, alternative media, social-cultural network and left wing radical groups.
The most important in substance demands were "no to the free trade zone ALCA", continuation of the social program which is fought against by the opposition (cuban physicians in the slums, the literacy campaign as well as handing out subsidized foods by army and government and "no to the Anti-Chávez-Referendum".
The demonstration confirms the impression, that the government of president Chávez sits firmer in the saddle than yet a year ago. 50-60 percent of the Venezuelan population live in the Barrios, the living conditions in those even improved in many regards despite of the commercial crisis and high numbers of unemployment, thanks to the social measures of the government. In general, the profile of the Chávez government has become more defined in the last 24 months.
The starting social reforms initiate gradually a fundamental transformation of socity.
Moreover the president profits from that the lower classes regard predominantly the opposition as responsible for the difficult macroeconomic situation. The right-wing opposition has completely paralyzed the petroleum production of Venezuela from December 2002 to February 2003 with lock-out and sabotage acts.
But the mobilization of the opposition mainly carried by the upper and middle classes also continues. The fear of loosing privileges, growing unemployment particularly amongst academics and unfortunately also clumsy racism against the dark majority of the population bring now as ever a considerable part of the Venezuelan society in movement against the government. The large demonstration of the opposition in the middle of the week was smaller than todays rally, but also well visited with 100,000 participants .
The most important aim of the opposition parties is named in the next months' referendum. Punctually to the middle term of the Government Chávez, the Coordinadora Democrática, which is massively supported by the USA, delivered 3.2 million signatures to the CNE, the highest election authority in order to initiate an referendum to vote the president out of office.
The validity of the signatures are surely in doubt. It is not clear when these were gathered and whether all of them are actually real. Some months ago, oppositional newspapers published lists, which were copied partially out of bank files. At least many supporters of the government found themselves to their surprise on the lists. The signatures must be checked now by CNE in the coming 30 days, which was not yet was called, because the opposition blocks the vote in the parliament and thereby the responsibility has passed over on the highest court.
If the signature should be accepted, the referendum must be carried out in the 60 days following. In this referendum then at least so many citizens would have to express themselves against the president than have voted for him three years ago, that means 3.7 million persons.
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