Home Tags Posts tagged with "henrique capriles"

henrique capriles

Venezuelan voters are set to go to the polls in what is predicted to be the country’s most tightly contested presidential election in a decade.

Left-wing incumbent Hugo Chavez, first elected in 1999, is being challenged by opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

Hugo Chavez wants to continue what he calls his socialist revolution while Henrique Capriles has promised to restore economic growth.

Almost 19 million Venezuelans are eligible to vote in the election.

Hugo Chavez – who is seeking a fourth term in office – was diagnosed with cancer last year but says he has now fully recovered.

A colorful and often controversial figure on the international stage, President Hugo Chavez, 58, has nationalized key sectors of the economy.

Venezuela is a major oil producer and high oil prices over the past decade have allowed his government to fund health-care, education programmes and social housing.

He says he needs another term to complete his “Bolivarian Revolution” towards socialism.

However, Henrique Capriles, 40, and the opposition say the president’s policies have led to bureaucracy, inefficiency, and shortages.

They also accuse Hugo Chavez of authoritarianism and of suppressing the judiciary and silencing critics in the media.

Henrique Capriles says a lack of investment in Venezuela’s crucial oil industry has led to a decline in production.

Both candidates held huge final rallies on Thursday – the last day of campaigning.

The two candidates have also used social media to encourage voters to cast their ballots.

“Good morning to all, one day left to open the door to the future!” Henrique Capriles wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday.

“Comrades across the world: Be assured that Bolivar’s people will continue to work to make another world possible, that is, a socialist one!” President Hugo Chavez tweeted.

Almost 140,000 soldiers will be deployed to guard more than 10,000 voting centres.

A week before the election, three opposition activists were killed during a campaign rally, and four people were injured in a shooting during a voting rehearsal in September.

From Saturday evening to Monday evening, the sale of alcohol is banned and only the security forces will be allowed to carry arms.

National Electoral Council official Socorro Hernandez said that everything would be “100% ready for polling day”.

She called on all parties and non-governmental groups to contribute to a peaceful election “and avoid any distortions”.

While polls are scheduled to close at 18:00 local time, National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena said that the hours could be extended if voters were still queuing to cast their ballots.


More than 100,000 people gathered in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, in support of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

Henrique Capriles criticized President Hugo Chavez for what he called a long list of unfulfilled promises.

He demanded justice for three opposition activists killed during a rally in Barinas state on Saturday.

Hugo Chavez addressed large crowds in Zulia state, promising to deepen socialism.

He told his supporters it was impossible to lose the 7 October election.

Henrique Capriles said the rally was the biggest Caracas had ever seen.

“Bolivar Avenue is too small for us,” he said, referring to one of the main city streets.

He also paid tribute to the three men who had died.

“Yesterday, sadly, violence took three lives, something that should never have happened,” Henrique Capriles said, in his last major rally in the capital before the election.

“I want to tell their families, and those angels in heaven, that we are going to defeat violence on 7 October.”

The three were named as Antonio Valero, Omar Fernandez and Hector Rojas.

An initial statement by the opposition First Justice Party on Saturday night reported two deaths.

It said a rally had been planned in Barinas, President Hugo Chavez’s home state, on Saturday but the road was blocked by government supporters.

When Antonio Valero and Omar Fernandez left their car to try to gain access, they were fired on by gunmen inside a van, it said.

“This tragedy gives us more strength and faith to fight for a Venezuela where justice and non-violence reign,” the First Justice Party said.

Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said in a message on Twitter that a suspect in the killings had already been arrested.

Hugo Chavez and Henrique Capriles are wrapping up their campaigns over the next few days.

Addressing tens of thousands of people in the town of Cabimas in the western Zulia state, President Chavez said he regretted the deaths and called for calm.

“It’s not with violence that we face off. It’s with votes, ideas, peace, so let’s not fall into provocations,” he said, quoted by Reuters news agency.

There have been other incidents of violence on the campaign trail. Supporters of both candidates threw stones at each other earlier this month when Henrique Capriles attempted to march through the city of Puerto Cabello.

And four people were injured in a shooting that erupted during a voting rehearsal at the beginning of September.

With violent crime a key concern for voters, there are fears that further violence could erupt in what has become Venezuela’s closest fought election in over a decade.

Hugo Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, was diagnosed with cancer last year.

More than 30 opposition parties have backed Henrique Capriles as a single candidate to challenge the leftist president.

[youtube spnMGxX4-ek]