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Chávez marches on

Venezuela's opposition has finally managed to unite—but it is unlikely to stop Hugo Chávez winning re-election

By Guy Taylor   December 2006

A small crowd gathers at six each evening on the steps outside a dilapidated high school in one of Caracas’s many impoverished barrios. With the sun dipping in the distance, middle-aged women arrive with their daughters. A few old men stand smoking cigarettes. One guy with tattoos on his arms labours up in a wheelchair and two rugged-looking characters help him ease it down the steps. The whole scene feels like something out of a Hugo Chávez infomercial.

The crowd has come for another evening of free classes aimed at bringing high-school diplomas to the millions of poor Venezuelans who,…

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