Henrique Capriles – the opposition’s hope

In October of this year, the population of Venezuela has the choice between another term in office of Hugo Chávez or his contender Henrique Capriles. The governor of the state Miranda will be the candidate of Venezuela’s opposition on the presidential elections in October of this year. He will now face the sitting president Hugo Chávez.

The 39-year old Capriles won the primary election of Mesa de la Unidad, which includes several opposition parties, by over 60%. They agreed on only one candidate as they think that their chance to win is higher. Hugo Chávez said that a primary election in his coalition PSUV makes no sense and would just waste money.

Capriles’ main topic in his campaign is to improve the educational level in Venezuela as well as a more open economical politic to model on Brazil, which he says is, “market-friendly combined with income redistribution”.

He cast himself as a centre-left candidate and tries to gain votes across the political spectrum. However, Chávez and various state run media characterise him as an American puppet that only represent the rich. Chávez called him a “low-life pig”, which will not be able to fight against him, because attacking him also means attacking the Venezuelan fatherland and its people.

On the other hand, Capriles said that Chávez expropriates private companies and harm the Venezuelan economy. Moreover, he wants to have a fair without media which is going to swing a decision. He also mentioned that he was not elected to fight with anyone but to solve problems. “The only confrontation I want is against violence, unemployment, corruption and other problems in Venezuela”, he said.

Capriles, whose grandparents were Jewish, describes himself as a religious catholic. Nevertheless it has been said that he is a Zionist and wants to damage the country. Thus, state run media reported that the candidate is a homosexual after seeing him having sex with a man in a car. Capriles did not respond to these accusations.

On 4th of March, sympathisers of Chávez attacked in San José de Cotiza a rally of oppositions. The attackers tried to break up the rally with guns and injured a man. According to the critical TV channel Globovisión, which filmed the attack, the sympathisers approached them and stole their equipment. The government countered that they have nothing to do with is and accused the opposition that they staged this event. It has to be expected that more of such actions will happen during the next week and month.

According to the latest surveys, Chávez will receive about 60% of the votes and will remain the president for the next six years, but if Capriles is able to persuade with its arguments it could become one of the most interesting elections for many years. It will be interesting to follow the further developments in Venezuela.


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