Friday, November 28, 2003

Towards the Recall Election of Chavez
The Yaracuy scene

Friday 28, 11:45 AM

I did sign up at 10:15 at Plaza de Las Banderas which is the flag square of our Olympic Village. I have some pictures and I will see how I can manage to post them.

The atmosphere was nice, semi festive even. I had to wait a couple of minutes and the form was easy to fill up, including my thumb stamp, ID number, etc... Chavez will have no problem tracking me down.

When I left I was told that they had already gathered close to 500 signatures! This is huge because:
1) The site is not on a major pedestrian area so people that sign up there come either by bus or car (though there is a community college nearby so that might account for the high number this early).
2) Each Yaracuy center is expected to collect between 2 and 3 thousand signatures so my center was already 1/4 of the way in numbers with still 3 days and 3/4 of collection time!!!!!!!!!!

I did drive around and the collection site at Avenida Cartagena was animated, the one at La Galeria was crowded (normal as it is in the ground zero area of anti Chavez folks) and I stopped for pictures at Plaza Teofilo Dominguez. There I asked the National Guard in charge permission for pictures and very kindly he allowed me to do so. While I was taking pictures I overheard an organizer on a cell phone saying that they had already filled up 60 forms for a total of 569 valid signatures! At 11 AM!

With two centers, in the first three hours of the 4 days period allotted they had collected more than 1000 signatures of the 100 to 150 thousand that Yaracuy is expected to gather. Impressive! If I extrapolate to other centers, Yaracuy must be already 10% in target. On a working day with three more days to go. If the rhythm keeps up by Saturday afternoon Yaracuy will be done.

But I heard bad news from Caracas that I need to check, about some serious disturbances. See you later.

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