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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 00:37 GMT
Chavez holds final election rally
Rally for Hugo Chavez
President Chavez promised supporters a "knockout" victory
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has held his final rally before next Sunday's presidential election.

Hundreds of thousands of his supporters gathered in Caracas a day after his main challenger, opposition leader Manuel Rosales, held a similar rally.

Mr Rosales has been gaining in polls but Mr Chavez still has a commanding lead and is widely predicted to be heading for a third term in office.

Mr Chavez told his supporters it was time to give more power to the people.

He said more power should be given to "communities, the poor, the people who cry, work and study".

'Confronting the devil'

He promised his supporters he would win a "knockout" victory in the 3 December vote.

Hundreds of thousands of his supporters flooded central Caracas, wearing red T-shirts and caps and waving flags and banners.

There was a carnival atmosphere as people drank beer and listened to salsa music, says the BBC correspondent in Venezuela, Greg Morsbach.

"We are confronting the devil," Mr Chavez said referring to US President George W Bush.

Hugo Chavez
Mr Chavez promised more power for the people
"And we will hit a home run off the devil next Sunday."

In a speech to the United Nations in October he called Mr Bush a devil.

President Chavez is an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, but Venezuela is still the fourth-largest provider of oil to the US.

Mr Chavez has built a solid base of support in Venezuela through social spending financed by oil revenues.

Opinion polls indicate Mr Chavez has about 60% of the vote compared to about 30% for Mr Rosales.

At his own rally on Saturday, Manuel Rosales said that "the real survey, not the ones that have been bought, show that within a few days Venezuela will have a new president".

He said that the president's policies were creating "a new rich and more poor people... an elite that runs everything".


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Hugo Chavez addresses his supporters in Caracas



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