Latin America. In context.
There is concern in Venezuela about the direction the country is moving politically, and Venezuelan governor Henrique Capriles is beginning to represent hope for opposition groups.
As mayor of Caracas, Henrique was targeted by the administration for not doing enough to suppress protests against the Cuban embassy in 2002, and was charged with fomenting violence; a charge that may have been intended to remove him as political competition.
At least a third of Venezuelans currently support opposition candidates according to recent polls, and many Venezuelans left the country since Chavez came to power, and even more after a failed referendum in 2004 and subsequent crackdowns on citizens who’s names were listed on the official referendums supporting the removal of Chavez.
In October of 2012, just one month before the US elections, one of the most polemic countries in South America will hold a referendum on Hugo Chavez, who has managed to remain president since 1999 by overturning term limits previously defined in the Venezuelan constitution.
Concerns over the fairness of the 2012 elections, have already encouraged international electoral watch groups to mobilize in preparation. Unfortunately, foreign organizations such as the The Carter Center (founded by former president Jimmy Carter), are perceived by many as well intentioned at best, but naive and distant from the corruption and political influence of the Chavez regime.
Despite promises to the poor of Venezuela, the country currently suffers from blackouts, and grocery shortages as a result of ineffective economic policies placing excessive control and restrictions on commerce.