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Venezuelans vote on future of "Chavista" politics

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 00:45

April 14 - Venezuelans begin voting in election that pits opposition leader Henrique Capriles against acting President Nicolas Maduro. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Venezuelans began voting on Sunday to determine whether to honor Hugo Chavez's dying wish for a long-time loyalist to continue his hardline socialism or hand power to a young challenger vowing business-friendly changes. Polls opened at 1030gmt (0630EST) for the election that sees Maduro with a double-digit lead in most polls, largely thanks to his former boss's public blessing before he died from cancer last month. But the gap has narrowed in the final days, with one survey putting it at seven percentage points. Capriles, says Venezuelans are tired of divisive "Chavista" politics and that his support has surged enough for him to pull off a surprise win. Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver who has trumpeted his working-class roots at every rally, is promising to push forward Chavez's "21st century socialism" if he triumphs. The winner will inherit control of the world's biggest oil reserves in an OPEC nation whose stark political polarization is one of Chavez's many legacies.

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Venezuelans vote on future of "Chavista" politics

Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 00:45