In Venezuela a Presidential election meeting in the capital of Caracas last week (13 April) attracted a crowd of nearly half a million people.
SV PULL OUT TO GV: Balloons in sky.
GV: Chanting, flag waving crowd. (3 SHOTS)
SV: Pinerua waving from platform.
CU: Betancourt (in white suit, foreground) with Barrios in background.
GV: Crowd applauding and listening to Betancourt. (2 SHOTS) (NIGHT SHOTS)
GV: Cheering, flag waving crowd.
GV & CU: Pinerua speaking in Spanish. (2 SHOTS)
GV: Flag waving crowd.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Venezuela a Presidential election meeting in the capital of Caracas last week (13 April) attracted a crowd of nearly half a million people. Venezuela will go to the polls in December to choose a new president, national congress, state and local representatives. And the ruling government party has hopes of receiving similar support on election day to that of its first major rally in Caracas.
SYNOPSIS: The huge government party rally on the University Avenue of Caracas drew large cheering crowds from many parts of the country. The presidential campaign began at the start of April, and at this meeting the ruling Government Party appeared popular, even though they face a tough election battle on internal issues.
Presidential candidate for the Government Party is Senor Luis Pinerua Ordaz, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and Secretary-General of his party.
Life President of the party, Dr. Romulo Betancourt, who is a former Venezuelan President himself, urged the rally to support Senor Ordaz for office. The government party is basing it campaign on a continuation of the administration of current President Carlos Andres Perez, who cannot stand for re-election for another ten years under the Venezuelan constitution.
Venezuela, the largest petroleum producer in Latin America, has initiated an ambitious development programme under the Perez administration.
But if the party, and its candidate, Senor Pinerua, are to regain the presidency, they will have to fight several domestic issues. Venezuelans are highly dissatisfied with poor public services, rising prices and government waste. Senor Pinerua, described as an excellent administrator, says he would ensure Government clampdowns on crime and official graft. So far there are eight further candidates in the Presidential line-up.