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Hugo Chavez opposition sees opportunity

Hugo Chavez opposition sees opportunityAn energy crisis in oil-rich Venezuela is putting pressure on President Hugo Chavez and that — with protests over media regulation and falling oil output — is opening the door for a possible political shift, an opposition activist said.

“We can win if we present the right candidates, and if we go knowing that this is David against Goliath, because that’s what the show for an election in Venezuela  going to be,” Leopoldo Lopez, a former district mayor of Caracas, Venezuela, told.

The opposition hopes to take advantage of the pressure facing Chavez by tapping into key constituencies such as students, community leaders and union leaders, Lopez said.

Venezuela is in the midst of an electricity crisis so deep that one of its own government agencies, the National Electric Corporation, warns of a national energy collapse by May if something is not done.

As a result, rolling blackouts have been used to conserve energy. During the past several months, Hugo Chavez himself has taken to the airwaves, urging Venezuelans to change their incandescent light bulbs to energy-saving bulbs and to save water by taking three-minute baths. The government also made plans for a possible partial state of emergency.

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