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Refinery Blast Could Harm Chavez's Re-election Efforts

An explosion at Venezuela’s largest refinery that killed at least 48 people and injured dozens on Aug. 25 is threatening to cast a shadow over President Hugo Chavez’s re-election bid.

The blast and ongoing fire at Amuay, 240 miles west of the capital, Caracas, adds to a number of events in recent weeks that have fueled concern over mismanagement, including a collapsed bridge connecting Caracas with the east of the country, deadly prison riots and protests by state workers over collective contracts.

Chavez will need to divert blame from a poor refinery maintenance record to avoid political fallout ahead of the Oct. 7 vote, said Luis Vicente Leon, president of Caracas-based polling firm Datanalisis. The self-declared socialist, who is seeking to extend almost 14 years in power with another six-year term, trailed his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, for the first time in a Consultores 21 poll earlier this month.

Source: Bloomberg. Read full article. (link)

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  • Sevo||

    "Chavez will need to divert blame from a poor refinery maintenance record to avoid political fallout ahead of the Oct. 7 vote, said Luis Vicente Leon,"

    Somehow, I doubt bad press from the explosion will affect the stuffed ballot boxes one bit.

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