© Agence France-Presse/Leo Ramirez/Juan Barreto
This combination of file pictures shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) and Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
This Sunday's elections will pit incumbent President Hugo Chávez Frías against neoliberal pro-US opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Opinion polls vary widely both ways, proof it will be a head-to-head race.
This election is not only of vital importance to Venezuela, but to all of Latin America, as Chávez has been a veritable barrier against traditional US interventionism in the region.
That's been the rallying call in the mainstream Western media, demonizing Chávez's refusal to align Venezuela to the Western powers' geopolitical objectives throughout the world, something the US and its allies find very hard to swallow.
That's why they've put all their clout behind young up-start Henrique Capriles Radonski, as if he were a savior of democracy in Venezuela.
But that's not quite the case when you consider that Capriles Radonski was very much involved in the failed US-backed coup in April 2002 to oust Chávez, and even spent a short spate in jail for it.
Chávez, in turn, is presented as "authoritarian and not democratic". And yet, when he lost the 2007 constitutional reform referendum or the 2010 congressional elections, his government fully heeded the electorate's will. No one today doubts that Sunday's elections will be transparent and fair.
So why all the anger and fuss against Chávez?
To those who haven't got the message yet: "It's his foreign policy, Stupid!"
Irrespective of whether his domestic policies are good or bad, his foreign policies have held Venezuela's sovereignty and self-esteem very high indeed, actively supporting all nations being savagely attacked by the US, UK, NATO or Israel.
Such is Venezuela's support of the martyred peoples of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, all flagrantly bombed, invaded and devastated by the Western powers based on outright lies, perverted distortions of the truth, and corporate greed to grab oil resources.
Today, the West targets Syria engineering internal strife and civil war as they already did in Iraq, Libya and other Muslim countries: in Orwellian Newspeak, the "Arab Spring". They also threaten Iran with unilateral military attack and commit murder, sabotage and financial manipulation inside Iranian territory whilst spreading all sorts of global media lies.