Henrique Capriles, Venezuelan Leader With Jewish Roots, Slams Foe for Nazi Jibe

Hugo Chavez Protege Called Opposition 'Heirs of Hitler'

getty images

By Reuters

Published April 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles expressed outrage on Monday at the description of his supporters as “heirs of Hitler” by election rival and acting President Nicolas Maduro.

The buildup to the South American OPEC nation’s April 14 vote has been characterized by highly personalized attacks between both candidates hoping to replace the late Hugo Chavez.

At the weekend, Maduro compared opposition complaints about Cuban doctors working in Venezuela with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. “The heirs of Hitler are leading a campaign in Venezuela against the Cuban people,” he said.

At a news conference, Capriles, who is a descendant of Polish Jews on his mother’s side, condemned that remark as intolerant and ignorant.

“Does he know who Hitler was? If he does, then what he said was atrocious, because he’s saying that those who do not think like him are killers,” said Capriles, 40, whose maternal grandparents, the Radonskis, fled anti-Semitism in Poland.

“I think they’re a bit confused and muddled … Everyone should be shown respect by those of us aspiring to govern.”

Both Maduro, a former bus driver and foreign minister named by Chavez as his preferred successor to continue socialism in Venezuela, and Capriles, a centrist state governor, will launch their formal election campaigns on Tuesday.

Polls have given Maduro, 50, a large lead, thanks in part to the wave of sympathy over Chavez’s death from cancer on March 5.

The latest, by local pollster GIS XX1, which is viewed as close to the government, projected that Maduro would win with 55 percent of votes, versus 45 percent for Capriles.

During a lengthy chat with reporters, Capriles also criticized Maduro’s use of state resources for his campaign, and promised a 40 percent rise in the minimum wage to compensate for a devaluation of the local bolivar currency.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.