As next month’s referendum on constitutional reform in Venezuela gets closer, both those for and against are taking to the streets to show where they stand. Thousands of university students are continuing to lead a street-level challenge to President Hugo Chavez. They are against many of the proposed changes. But the president has his own vocal supporters who applaud his plans to create new types of property, to be managed by cooperatives, and a change in the law allowing Chavez to run for election indefinitely.
No other political figure can currently dent Chavez’s popularity, with the poor elements of society backing increased spending on schools and clinics. Latest opinion polls point to a slight lead for a “yes” win on December 2, with many remaining uneasy over Chavez’s bid to change Venezuela into a socialist state.