The Venezuelan opposition has held rallies to protest the disqualification of its candidates, and its questioning the government's motives. Opposition suggests the disqualifications have to do with Chavez's worries of losing the upcoming regional elections. This man is one of the banned candidates, and he is a current mayor of a regional Caracas area, and wants to become mayor of all of Caracas. But now he's off the ballot. In June he traveled to Washington to explain his case to a human rights commission and when he returned he was harassed by officials at the Caracas airport. A security camera caught the scene and caused a sensation when it was broadcast on Venezuelan TV. The decision to ban that official and hundreds of others was approved by Venezuela's top corruption official, who happens to be a close Chavez ally. That official says Venezuelan law allows him to disqualify any candidate suspected of corruption, even though he hasn't charged anyone. These regional elections are seen as key in Venezuela because they follow last year's referendum vote which dealt Chavez's first defeats since coming to power. What's at stake in these elections is who controls local governments around the country. meanwhile, Chavez continues to rally supporters around his cries for socialism.
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