Venezuela Presidential Election 2013: 5 Facts About Henrique Capriles


Henrique Capriles Radonsky, a popular Venezuelan governor from the opposition block, who models himself after former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula Da Silva, and wants to open Venezuela's economy to private investors while reducing crime and inflation, is trying his second presidential election in less than a year against Venezuela's Interim President Nicolas Maduro — Hugo Chavez's successor.  

1) He ran against Chavez in October: Back in the October election, Capriles challenged Chavez but lost. He is 40 years old, has been a mayor, parliament leader, governor, and opposition leader in his short political career. He was elected to parliament in 1998, at age 25, and he was elected mayor of Baruta, a suburb in the Caracas metropolitan area in 2000.

2) He was imprisoned in 2002: In 2002, Capriles became involved in anti-government rallies outside the Cuban Embassy, which resulted in the brief ouster of Chavez from office. He was put in jail for four months as a result, although he was eventually released. He was then reelected mayor in 2004, with 80% approval.

3) He has Jewish grandparents: Capriles' grandparents were Polish Holocaust survivors, but he is Catholic. He describes himself as a "fervent Catholic," and became more spiritual while imprisoned in 2004.

4) He is an enemy of Iran: During the October election, he said that he would move Venezuela away from relations with countries like Belarus and Iran. He said he would accelerate the peace process between Colombian rebel group FARC and the Colombian government.

5) His economic policies would resemble Brazil: Capriles reportedly "favors former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's mix of market-friendly economic policies combined with income redistribution".