Venezuelans Elect Hugo Chavez Successor Amid Hope and Dread

Henrique Capriles, Leader With Jewish Roots, Vies for Post

Day of Destiny: Opposition leader Henrique Capriles prepares for presidential election in Venezuela.
getty images
Day of Destiny: Opposition leader Henrique Capriles prepares for presidential election in Venezuela.

By Reuters

Published April 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Chavez’s fourth presidential election win in October saw record turnout of 80 percent. This time, though, both sides worry that participation could be lower because of election fatigue.

Many Venezuelans could be forgiven for feeling like they are stuck in a never-ending campaign. Opposition primaries early last year were followed by the ailing president’s dramatic re-election, and then a vote to choose state governors in December.

Maduro has cloaked himself in the imagery of Chavez and calls himself the late president’s “son.” At events around the nation, supporters chanted “With Chavez and Maduro, the people are safe!” and “Chavez, I swear to you, I’ll vote for Maduro!”

At every rally, Maduro played a video of Chavez naming him as successor in December - “my firm opinion, clear like the full moon, irreversible” - in his final speech to Venezuelans.

POST-CHAVEZ CHALLENGES

If Maduro wins, he will immediately face big challenges as he tries to stamp his authority on a disparate ruling coalition while lacking his predecessor’s charisma, or the healthy state finances that Chavez enjoyed in last year’s race.

It is hard to forecast how he might do things his own way. Like many senior officials, Maduro was passionately loyal to Chavez and never expressed a different opinion in public.

Supporters say he could use his background as a union negotiator-turned-diplomat to build bridges, perhaps even with the United States after tensions during Chavez’s 14-year rule.

But there has been little sign of his softer side on the campaign trail. Maduro’s rhetoric has veered from outraged - alleging opposition plots to kill him using mercenaries - to light-hearted, such as poking fun at his often-cited tale of how he was visited by Chavez’s spirit in the form of a bird.


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!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.