Oct 02 2012

Hugo Chavez Faces Reelection in Venezuela, Opposition Candidate Capriles Represents Pro-US, Neo-Liberal Politics

On Sunday the Venezuelan people will decide whether to grant their President, Hugo Chavez, who has ruled Venezuela for almost 14 years, another six years in office. Chavez is hoping to defeat his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski in what many news reports are calling the closest election since Chavez first took office. Chavez came to power in 1999 with 56.4% of the popular vote. The 58 year old Chavez, who has been battling cancer, is campaigning on a promise to expand his socialist platform to help more poor and working class families in the country.

His rival, thirty nine year old Capriles, rose through the ranks in Venezuela as a “market friendly” lawyer, practicing in both public and private sectors. He won against expected favorite Diosdalla Cabello, when he ran against him for governor of Miranda, Venezuela’s second most populous state. Capriles stood out from other presidential candidates in February’s primary, where he won 62% of the popular vote.

Chavez has criticized Capriles’ politics as “neoliberal” and aligned with the United States and, in fact, Capriles has promised a massive shift in the country’s foreign policy by moving Venezuelan loyalties away from Russia, Iran and China. Capriles has also vowed to rethink Chavez’ current policy of funding social services, like subsidized food programs and cash payments to poor families using oil revenues.

Poll numbers between the two candidates are close but Chavez appears to have a close lead. However just two days ago, three of Capriles’ supporters were gunned down at a rally in Chavez’ home state of Barinas. Capriles has blamed members of Chavez’ party for the murders.

GUEST: Gregory Wilpert, co-founder of venezuelanalysis.com, author of Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chávez Government

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Hugo Chavez Faces Reelection in Venezuela, Opposition Candidate Capriles Represents Pro-US, Neo-Liberal Politics”

  1. corinaon 02 Oct 2012 at 10:39 am

    Who the hell chose that title? Only Chávez and his acolytes say that Capriles represent “pro-US” liberal politics. If you take a little time to read the program of Capriles you’ll see that he is even saying that he is going to legalize the social programs that Chávez started. Also, Capriles said yesterday in a press conference to the international press that the US must rethink its policies towards Latin America. In addition, the mega corrupt-chavista-millionare president of the congress is called Diosdado not Diosdalla. Check your facts and don’t be so obviously tendentious.

  2. Dougon 02 Oct 2012 at 2:55 pm

    The real question is who shall be the vanguard of the working class. Reject U. S. imperialism. Stand up for workers. Defend Chavéz and the socialist revolution!

  3. Phoenix Womanon 08 Oct 2012 at 9:00 am

    Corina: Look up the definition of “neoliberalism”. It’s not the same thing as “liberalism”.

    Neoliberalism — aka the Washington Consensus — is exactly what Capriles and the US-backed oligarchs funding him are working to achieve. The only reason he appeared recently to be moving away from the neoliberalist position was because it was the only way he had a chance of winning.