Posted Fri, 05 Mar 2004: Venezuela's opposition negotiated with the government on Thursday over the official refusal to hold a referendum to recall President Hugo Chavez, and a local opposition leader was shot dead during fresh protests.
Venezuela's UN ambassador Milos Alcalay quit his job in protest against the Chavez government's handling of the crisis, damaging the president's international standing.
The new crisis erupted after the National Electoral Council said only 1.8 million of the 3.1 million signatures collected by the opposition to demand a recall referendum were valid. Some 2.4 million valid names were needed for a referendum to be called.
It's incredible, there are newspaper readers in Africa now hearing about us and probably shaking their heads...