We were invited to President Chavez’ press conference today. For those that have never been this is truly an event. We were told to be there at 11:00 a.m., Comandante Chavez didn’t show up until 2:15, and he didn’t stop speaking until over three hours later. The entire international press corps here in Caracas was completely wiped out as it dragged itself out of the Palace after the marathon session.
Chavez seems to have taken a page out of Fidel’s book with these long-winded speeches and press conferences. One of the CBC reporters commented, "He's been on the first question for an hour now, and has just now taken the second one".
During the “presser” President Chavez repeated his now-standard bashing of the United States and continued his specific criticism of CNN. In his speech yesterday President Chavez strongly threatened to kick us out of the country if CNN were seen to be trying to influence the vote in any way. We all agreed that it would be a very astute political move on his part if were to deport the “imperialist media” just prior to Sunday’s referendum vote.