Opposition Candidate Runs to the Left of Hugo Chavez

Next month, Venezuela will hold elections, and despite the dramatic failures of anti-Western leftist president Hugo Chavez, the opposition candidate is campaigning as a more extreme version of Chavez.

Map of VenezuelaVenezuelan governor Henrique Capriles will represent an alternative to Chavez.

Citing increased violence, poor infrastructure, and a flailing economy, Capriles is making a populist proposition to direct even more resources from what’s left of the private sector into the government for an increase of social programs.

Aside from promises to increase the size and scope of government, Capriles himself has described himself as a far left wing alternative saying, ‘‘if [Chavez is] socialists, I’m Marxist-Leninist, because I invite them to compare who is doing more on the social front and who is using resources to solve the problems of our people, not to save other countries.”

By suggesting that Chavez has been working to “save other countries,” it appears that Capriles was deriding the president’s close partnerships with many leftists countries in the region, and even throughout the world including the Islamic Republic of Iran.

According to reports by Bloomberg, Capriles may also favor an odd and potentially contradictory “mix of market-friendly economic policies combined with income redistribution.”

At least a third of Venezuelans currently support opposition candidates according to recent polls, and many Venezuelans left the country after a failed referendum in 2004 which resulted in crackdowns on citizens who’s names were listed on the official referendums supporting the removal of Chavez.

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