Concerns About Violence Ahead of Venezuelan Elections

Venezuelan governor Henrique Capriles is the opposition candidate against Hugo Chavez in the country’s presidential elections scheduled to take place on October 7, 2012.

Supporters of Hugo Chavez had recently set up roadblocks during a visit by Mr. Capriles to a coastal city. It appears that stones were thrown in addition to arson and numerous injuries from bystanders.

Recently, Hugo Chavez suggested that civil war may break out in the country if he is to lose the election. Apparently pandering to a long neglected electorate in the country, Chavez said, “it’s in the interests of the peace-loving rich for Chávez to win” as he insinuated that they had to the most to lose in the event of a civil war in the country.

According to a report by former US ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy, “Venezuela could experience significant political unrest and violence that lead to the further curtailment of democracy in the country” in the coming months.

The report also notes that Chavez is battling cancer, and suggests that in the event that he were unable to lead his political wing, “the Chavistas will not willingly surrender power and would be willing to provoke violence, orchestrate civil unrest, or engage in various forms of armed resistance to avoid doing so.”

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