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Economy weighs on voters ahead of Venezuelan election

As Hugo Chavez faces the toughest presidential election of his political career, the government is unleashing a flood of state spending to win over undecided voters. This comes from a President who has nationalized companies like the French-Colombian owned supermarket Exito with a promise of relief for consumers. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ SAYING: "We have expropriated, right? The belongings, properties, deposits, transport and the constructional improvements that make up the supermarket chain [have been] nationalized." But with inflation sometimes hitting more than 25 percent, some feel that government measures have done little to help their wallets. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARACAS RESIDENT MARIELA GONZALEZ SAYING: "Everyday you go and buy something and today you buy it at one price, tomorrow at another. You have to walk a lot just to be able to find a more or less good price." Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is promising to change all that vowing -- to end the vision of a state-led economy. Most polls have Chavez in the lead. But the opposition leader has had more momentum in the final days of the campaign and is confidently predicting victory.

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