Chávez has an Opponent

Via the BBC:  Venezuelan candidate Capriles challenges Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan politician Henrique Capriles has registered as the presidential candidate for a coalition of more than 30 opposition parties in polls due in October.

After leading a march through the streets of the capital, Caracas, Mr Capriles vowed to fight crime and root out corruption.


Mr Capriles, who last week stepped down as governor of Miranda state to run for president, criticised the left-wing policies of Mr Chavez.

He promised to follow the example of former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, offering a balance of social programmes and pro-business policies.

In addition to serving as governor, he was also a member of congress.

The fact that Capriles is the candidate of a 30 party coalition underscores the fragmented nature of the Venezuelan opposition.

Of course, Chávez’s real opponent is his own health.  While he claims to be healthy and ready to go, his public appearances have diminished and he no longer is the ubiquitous presences on Venezuelan television and radio that he once was (hours long speeches and appearances were the norm).  Now his exact condition is a state secret worthy of the old Soviet Union.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Franklin says:

    Assuming his promises are sincere, sounds like a step in the right direction. But I shan’t say it to loud or they’ll think Americans are meddling in their affairs.

  2. Franklin says:

    Sorry, ‘too’ not ‘to’. When will I start using the Preview button?