|Henrique Capriles (left) is attempting to defeat President Hugo Chavez and stall his plans to turn Venezuela into a socialist state.|
Hugo Chávez, the charismatic President, has been in office since 1999, and is now running for an unprecedented third term in office.
As President of Venezuela, Chávez controls the world’s largest oil reserves, he spends generously on social programs that are important to poor Venezuelans, and has said that he wants to turn Venezuela into a socialist state, where communes and state-owned enterprises play an ever-larger role.
But Chávez, who has crushed his opponents in the past two presidential contests — winning by 15 to 20 points — faces his toughest opposition thus far. It comes in the form of a 40-year-old state governor who claims that he represents neither the left nor the right, and compares himself to David, the biblical character, fighting against Goliath, i.e. Chávez.
|Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles has
promised that he would maintain many of Chávez’s social
programmes. Photograph: Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty | The Guardian