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October 02, 2012

Chavez, Capriles Enter Final Days of Venezuelan Presidential Race

by VOA News

With less than a week remaining before the Venezuelan presidential election, President Hugo Chavez's re-election campaign took him to his hometown Monday.

Chavez waxed nostalgic about his boyhood during his visit in the western town of Sabaneta, and accused his opponent, Henrique Capriles, of wanting to dismantle the socialist system he has built since taking office in 1999.

At another campaign stop in Cojedes state, the president urged voters to give him the chance to further his agenda.

"I have never failed you. In the many years I've been with you, I may have committed errors, but I've always been willing to work to fix them, to rectify what needs to be rectified," he said. "Chavez has never failed you and I will never fail you, ladies and gentlemen. You want a country of truth, you want a prosperous future, you want education, you want quality healthcare for all, homes for all. You want liberty, you want dignity. I know you want these things, so, everyone who wants those things should vote for Chavez on October 7. I will always be with you.''

Capriles spent Monday campaigning in the southern state of Amazonas, where he pledged to follow through on Chavez's pledge to help Venenzuela's indigenous people.

"It's been 14 years of a [Chavez] government, I want to say here to all the indigenous communities that with willingness, encouragement, with dialogue and communication, in one year we will comply with the constitutional text [text referring to indigenous lands]," said Capriles. "Get ready indigenous brothers and sisters. I came here to claim justice and these lands are yours.''

Recent voter opinion surveys show Chavez with a double digit lead over Capriles ahead of next Sunday's vote, but the challenger has been gaining ground in thanks to an energetic campaign.

The campaign was plagued by violence last Saturday when two supporters of Capriles were shot and killed at a rally in Barinas state.