By contrast, many other governments, especially in the Gulf but also in Latin America, were often revealed as two-faced hypocrites that praised each other publicly in elaborate shows of regional unity while privately stabbing each other in the back. That remains as true as ever today when it comes to Venezuela’s contested presidential election, which Nicolás Maduro, heir of Hugo Chávez, won by a whisker. Continue reading »
It’s a febrile atmosphere: seven people died in riots overnight, 60 were injured and 170 arrested. Back in Europe, fresh from a recent trip to Caracas, many have asked me: is this country nuts? Continue reading »
Violence has erupted in Venezuela after Nicolás Maduro won the narrowest of victories in the weekend’s presidential election, with opposition leader Henrique Capriles questioning the result. John Paul Rathbone, Latin America editor, discusses with deputy emerging markets editor Jonathan Wheatley the implications of the disputed result on the country and investors’ view of it.
Henrique Capriles would of course have preferred to win Venezuela’s elections last Sunday. But the fact that his rival Nicolás Maduro only won by a whisker meant that he has emerged greatly strengthened.
Now, however, the ugly wave of violence perpetrated by government opponents that has gripped the volatile Caribbean country since the vote, so far leaving seven dead and 61 wounded, is jeopardising Capriles’ newfound strength. Continue reading »
Even though he was not on the ballot, Hugo Chávez loomed large in Sunday’s snap Presidential election in Venezuela. But the fact that Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader, managed to capture 49.1 per cent of the vote seems to suggest that economic realities are starting to loom larger for some voters. Continue reading »
So, the chavista revolution continues: interim president Nicolás Maduro has defeated opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski by 7,505,338 votes (50.7 per cent) to 7,270,403 (49.1 per cent) in Venezuela’s presidential election. But as the late Hugo Chávez liked to say in a different context, the revolution continues por ahora (for now). Continue reading »
Only six weeks in the grave, and Hugo Chávez’s socialist dream is fading fast, writes John Paul Rathbone. Last night, the chosen successor of “el commandante”, Nicolas Maduro, won Venezuela’s presidential election, but only by whisker. Maduro – “the self-proclaimed son of Chavez” – got 50.7 per cent of the vote, versus 49.1 per cent for Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader. That compares to an 11 point win for Mr Chavez in October’s presidential election. Mr Capriles has refused to accept the result until the votes are fully audited. Continue reading »
As Venezuelans make up their minds whether to vote for Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, or the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, recurrent problems like shortages of basic goods, electricity blackouts and relentlessly rising prices continue to complicate day-to-day living. Continue reading »
Hugo Chávez’s death is a game changer in Venezuela and will inevitably bring a reorganisation of the political order. It creates a power vacuum that will be hard to fill and a political crisis could take place should vice president Nicolas Maduro, Chávez’s appointed successor, fail to guarantee continuity for the Chavismo movement. Continue reading »
New Year in Venezuela is a curious occasion at the best of times – traditions include jumping off chairs backwards, running round in circles carrying suitcases and wearing yellow underwear.
But with half the country petrified that their beloved leader may be about to depart this world, and the other half desperately hoping that they may be on the verge of a new era, there was less time for the usual eccentricities. Continue reading »
The one saving grace for the opposition was that their de facto leader, Henrique Capriles, scraped a victory in Miranda state, but it doesn’t leave him sitting very comfortably if presidential elections really do have to be held again any time soon.
And that seems to be a very real possibility, given the state of Chávez’s health – even if it is also perfectly possible that he recovers. Continue reading »