>> Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro's tenure has been marked by deadly anti-government riots and an exodus of citizens fleeing a severe economic crisis with shortages of everything from food to toilet paper. Despite all that, Maduro is still expected to win reelection on Sunday.>> I'm Havavi Cooper for Reuters outside president Nicolas Maduro's final pre-election rally.
One of the biggest avenues in Caracas has been blocked off for this gathering and thousands of people have poured in. Many of them have been bused in from different areas of Caracas. Now the mood here is one of excitement. People have food and drinks. They're singing and dancing.
But this excitement is in stark contrast with that of his opponents. Critics want Maduro run, but they have lost hope for change.>> The opposition believes Maduro is a dictator. The election, a sham, and many of the opposition parties have boycotted the race.>>
> The opposition also sees Maduro's decision to ban outside observers as another reason why the election is a fraud.
But some hold out hope, Maduro's main rival is 56-year-old, Henri Falcone, a former soldier and governor of the state of Lara. Falcone also held his final pre-election rally in Caracas, Thursday. If elected he says he will end currency controls and give a monthly welfare stipend of $25 to every adult.
Now the fate of a once booming OPEC country reduced to looting and deprivation, could come down to citizens caught between their longing for change and their refusal to vote.