Capriles Goes After Maduro for Failing to Live up to…Chávez?

My, how have times have changed. I give you Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles on the campaign trail:

Nicolas [Maduro] in a hundred days you are destroying what in the 14 years the President of the Republic achieved. Can you imagine another six years of this? They are not managing Venezuela, they are destroying Venezuela”, emphasized [Capriles,] the governor of Miranda the second most populated of the country.

Of course, just last fall, Capriles was running against Chávez, who he criticized for failing to improve Venezuela in his 14 years as president. Now, campaigning against Maduro, he’s critical of Maduro for…undoing all that Chávez had accomplished for Venezuela in his 14 years as president.

This rhetorical dissonance between last fall’s election cycle in Venezuela and this spring’s cycle taps into a broader problem for the opposition, which is that it still doesn’t have a solid program to attract voters. First Chávez, and now Maduro, can point to a political platform and specific programs and plans that already have improved the lives of many Venezuelans (or will improve them going forward), while Capriles and the opposition are simply running against Maduro without offering solutions. Thus, Capriles now is criticizing Maduro for undoing programs that, just last fall, he was critical of as he went after Chávez. Though not impossible, it’s difficult to see how Capriles will win the election with this type of platform against Maduro’s platform of continuing the “revolution” that Chávez began.

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About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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