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In Pictures
In Pictures: Venezuela's campaigning closes
Elections rarely provide as stark a choice between opposing ideological visions as the one in Venezuela today.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2012 11:26

Politics in Venezuela is not a spectator sport. In an election where voters can choose from two starkly different visions for the future, people on both sides of the political divide took to the streets in huge numbers as campaigning closed Thursday night.

The government of Hugo Chavez promises to continue building socialism by redistributing oil wealth, forging new international alliances, and expropriating assets from “monopolies”.
 
Led by Henrique Capriles, the opposition wants a social democratic approach, restoring traditional alliances with the US and Europe, an end to foreign oil subsidies and a more business friendly climate.
 
Governing for 14 years, the Chavez government has reduced poverty and inequality, but crime and inflation have risen. Poverty dropped by 30 per cent between 1995 and 2005, according to the World Bank, while extreme poverty dropped from 32 per cent to 19 per cent. Venezuela has one of the lowest measures of inequality in Latin America.
 
Crime increased - with the country recording 4,550 murders in 1998 and 19,336 by 2011, according to the Brookings Institute.

As of midnight on Thursday, all campaigning has formally stopped as voters prepare to go to the polls on Sunday for what could be a close race.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Supporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles rally in the capital. The youth vote will be crucial if Capriles, 40, is to beat the incumbent Hugo Chavez, 58, on Sunday.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Whoever wins on Sunday, Venezuela will remain an extremely polarised society.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
An opposition supporter holds a photo of Franklin Brito, a man who apparently had his farm seized by the government. He died during a hunger strike last year, backers of the opposition said.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Crime, corruption and inflation have increased since Chavez took office 14 years ago, according to the opposition.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
In the slums or "barrios" on the hills around Caracas, support for Chavez runs high. The government recently build a cable car at San Agustin del Sur so residents wouldn't have to walk an hour and a half down the mountain to get to work.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Poverty and inequality have declined since Chavez began redistributing oil wealth, according to government supporters.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Employees of the government and poor people who depend on social programmes from the state are threatened with losing their jobs or benefits if they don't show support for Chavez, critics say.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Some analysts believe this election plays out along class lines, with the poor supporting Chavez while the middle classes and elites back the opposition.


Chris Arsenault /Al Jazeera
Dressed in socialist red, Chavistas rallied in the capital on Thursday prior the formal close of campaigning. Many of the demonstrators were state employees bused in from other states.



images:
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captions:
Supporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles rally in the capital. The youth vote will be crucial if Capriles, 40, is to beat the incumbent Hugo Chavez, 58, on Sunday. ;*;Whoever wins on Sunday, Venezuela will remain an extremely polarised society. ;*;An opposition supporter holds a photo of Franklin Brito, a man who apparently had his farm seized by the government. He died during a hunger strike last year, backers of the opposition said.;*; Crime, corruption and inflation have increased since Chavez took office 14 years ago, according to the opposition. ;*;In the slums or "barrios" on the hills around Caracas, support for Chavez runs high. The government recently build a cable car at San Agustin del Sur so residents wouldn(***)t have to walk an hour and a half down the mountain to get to work.;*;Poverty and inequality have declined since Chavez began redistributing oil wealth, according to government supporters. ;*;Employees of the government and poor people who depend on social programmes from the state are threatened with losing their jobs or benefits if they don(***)t show support for Chavez, critics say.;*;Some analysts believe this election plays out along class lines, with the poor supporting Chavez while the middle classes and elites back the opposition. ;*;Dressed in socialist red, Chavistas rallied in the capital on Thursday prior the formal close of campaigning. Many of the demonstrators were state employees bused in from other states. Daylife ID:
1349467849237
Photographer:
Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault ;*;Chris Arsenault
Image Source:
Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera ;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Venezuelan elections 2http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:10:47 GMTSat, 06 Oct 2012 10:48:50 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=0dRv9f101R2RmSupporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles rally in the capital. The youth vote will be crucial if Capriles, 40, is to beat the incumbent Hugo Chavez, 58, on Sunday. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:13:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=0dRv9f101R2RmChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesSupporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles rally in the capital. The youth vote will be crucial if Capriles, 40, is to beat the incumbent Hugo Chavez, 58, on Sunday. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=09qydDdapi0O4Whoever wins on Sunday, Venezuela will remain an extremely polarised society. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:13:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=09qydDdapi0O4Chris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesWhoever wins on Sunday, Venezuela will remain an extremely polarised society. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=07aafDc0tpatGAn opposition supporter holds a photo of Franklin Brito, a man who apparently had his farm seized by the government. He died during a hunger strike last year, backers of the opposition said.Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:13:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=07aafDc0tpatGChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesAn opposition supporter holds a photo of Franklin Brito, a man who apparently had his farm seized by the government. He died during a hunger strike last year, backers of the opposition said. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=058GdTqej1cmT Crime, corruption and inflation have increased since Chavez took office 14 years ago, according to the opposition. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:14:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=058GdTqej1cmTChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload Images Crime, corruption and inflation have increased since Chavez took office 14 years ago, according to the opposition. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=001I6xu0n040AIn the slums or “barrios” on the hills around Caracas, support for Chavez runs high. The government recently build a cable car at San Agustin del Sur so residents wouldn't have to walk an hour and a half down the mountain to get to work.Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:14:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=001I6xu0n040AChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesIn the slums or “barrios” on the hills around Caracas, support for Chavez runs high. The government recently build a cable car at San Agustin del Sur so residents wouldn't have to walk an hour and a half down the mountain to get to work. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=0cFx8ZXfzK0cFPoverty and inequality have declined since Chavez began redistributing oil wealth, according to government supporters. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=0cFx8ZXfzK0cFChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesPoverty and inequality have declined since Chavez began redistributing oil wealth, according to government supporters. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=02Vk33XfRB43IEmployees of the government and poor people who depend on social programmes from the state are threatened with losing their jobs or benefits if they don't show support for Chavez, critics say.Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=02Vk33XfRB43IChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesEmployees of the government and poor people who depend on social programmes from the state are threatened with losing their jobs or benefits if they don't show support for Chavez, critics say. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=03wR9AHdR1e7XSome analysts believe this election plays out along class lines, with the poor supporting Chavez while the middle classes and elites back the opposition. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:15:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=03wR9AHdR1e7XChris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesSome analysts believe this election plays out along class lines, with the poor supporting Chavez while the middle classes and elites back the opposition. http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=02A30sC5a7fZ6Dressed in socialist red, Chavistas rallied in the capital on Thursday prior the formal close of campaigning. Many of the demonstrators were state employees bused in from other states. Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:16:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/Venezuelan-elections-2?image_id=02A30sC5a7fZ6Chris Arsenault Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Upload ImagesDressed in socialist red, Chavistas rallied in the capital on Thursday prior the formal close of campaigning. Many of the demonstrators were state employees bused in from other states.

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