In Venezuela yesterday thousands of supporters of President Hugo Chavez marched through the streets of Caracas in a funeral procession mourning the deaths of two men who were shot dead during protests on Friday. The Venezuelan vice president and several other high-level government officials led the march.
Relatives of the dead said both victims were staunch supporters of President Chavez. Oscar Gomez Aponte, 24, was a security guard at the Education Ministry. The other, Jairo Gergoriao Moran, made and sold jewelry. He had two children.
Thirty days of management-led work stoppage has had a devastating impact on the Venezuelan economy, and especially on the petroleum industry.
President Chavez says oil exports are recovering and have reached 1.5 million barrels a day — about half Venezuela’s normal level. Striking oil executives say production is only a fraction of normal output.Venezuela is the world’s fifth largest oil exporter and a major U.S. supplier.
- Natalie Alsop, a college student from City College of San Francisco and an activist working for peace in Colombia with the International Action Center.
- Samuel Moncada, Historian and Director of the School of History at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.