BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 14 October, 2002, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Crowds turn out for Venezuela leader
Anti-Chavez supporters earlier this week
Pro- and anti-Chavez protests have rocked Venezuela
About one million supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have marched in the capital, Caracas - the latest in a series of rallies for and against his government.

Sunday's march follows a protest by more than a million people earlier in the week calling for Mr Chavez to resign.


I challenge the opposition to bring the country to a standstill

President Hugo Chavez
Supporters from across the country walked through central Caracas, chanting slogans and wearing the red, yellow and blue colours of the national flag.

Others played music from loudspeakers and waved banners condemning those who sought to oust Mr Chavez in a failed coup six months ago.

"Chavez is here to stay, the opposition is wrong if they think they'll sack him again," one supporter told the Associated Press news agency.

Challenge issued

Mr Chavez told the rally that he rejected demands from trade unions and business leaders to resign from his post or call early elections, saying none would be held until 2006.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Chavez challenged his detractors to strike

He also issued a challenge to his opponents, who have threatened to call a strike if he does not call an early election by Wednesday.

"I challenge the opposition to bring the country to a standstill," Mr Chavez said in his speech.

"Let's see if you bring Venezuela to a standstill... You can call a strike whenever you want."

Venezuela's constitution does not provide for early elections, although it does allow a referendum to be be held halfway through the presidential term, which falls in August 2003.

Talks cancelled

The marches come only a few days after Mr Chavez claimed that another plot to force him from power by senior opposition political and military officials had been foiled by security officials.

A visit to Venezuela on Monday by the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, Cesar Gaviria, has been cancelled.

He had been expected to discuss his proposal for promoting a national debate to end the political crisis between the Venezuelan government and opposition.

The reason for the cancellation is not clear.


Key stories

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

06 Oct 02 | Americas
14 Aug 02 | Americas
09 Jun 02 | Americas
14 May 02 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes