Patrica Poleo

Poleo is a well known critic of the government and advocate of non-democratic resistance to it. Carlos Ocariz, a deputy for opposition party Primero Justicia, said he lamented the "injustice" of the prosecution but was convinced that the solution was not violence but, "the electoral road."

The opposition is divided over the role of Patricia Poleo, Editor of the oppositional tabloid El Nuevo Pais. She has been accused of helping plan the assassination of Danilo Anderson, a state prosecutor investigating Poleo, among others, for her role in helping organise the April 2002 coup that briefly overthrew President Hugo Chavez and gave the new President, Pedro Carmona, dictatorial powers.

The leader of opposition party COPEI, Cesar Perez Vivas, along with representatives of several other opposition parties, said that that the accusations made against Patricia Poleo are politically motivated and lack, "consistency".

Despite this, Vivas encouraged the public not to support Poleo’s political stance of non-participation and direct action. Vivas said, "it won’t help get rid of this regime if the majority if the people take the route of abstention or rebellion." Representatives from MAS, Accion Democratica, and Primero Justicia mirrored his comments.

Despite saying on November 8, "I will not hide because I have a daughter to see," Patricia Poleo has gone into hiding and the police are currently searching for her. Poleo has been the star speaker in opposition demonstrations recently where taped messages are played of officers involved in the April 2002 coup. Poleo’s followers in the National Resistance Movement are using the situation to highlight their calls for non-participation in elections and direct action against the government.

Oscar Perez, a leader of the National Resistance Movement said on Sunday, "the people are out on the streets to get rid of the candidates we denounce. We cannot permit this farce you see to continue". A motorcade of seven cars with Poleo posters on them drove through the city in support of her on Sunday. During a television interview last night Venezuelan Attorney General, Isaias Rodríguez spoke by telephone with Rafael Poleo, Patricia Poleo’s father. Rodriguez suggested the possibility of Poleo leaving the country for a form of exile.