When socialist Nicolás Maduro eked out last April’s special presidential election in Venezuela, I wrote: “Even if Maduro won, he lost.”
Maduro defeated the opposition candidate – the same challenger Maduro's mentor Hugo Chávez had trounced just six months earlier by an 11-percent margin – by only 1.6 percent of the vote. Maduro’s lame performance shook the socialists’ claim that Chávez’s revolution would be just as dominant without Chávez, who had died of cancer in March after ruling Venezuela for 14 years.
An image of late President Hugo Chavez hangs behind acting President Nicolas Maduro, as he speaks to supporters after registering his candidacy outside the national electoral council in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday.
Credit Rodrigo Abd / AP
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles accused Maduro of using Chavez's funeral to campaign for the presidency.
The tall and imposing Nicolas Maduro stepped forward last week to be sworn in as Venezuela's interim leader following the death of President Hugo Chavez.
Before the country's packed congressional hall, he swore to complete Chavez's dream to transform the OPEC power into a socialist state, allied with Cuba and decidedly opposed to capitalism and U.S. interests in Latin America.
Miami Herald South America bureau chief Jim Wyss on Venezuela, Colombia and the Summer Games
Forget the US election.
There may be an even more important presidential vote taking place in Venezuela this fall.
Miami Herald South America bureau chief Jim Wyss updates WLRN's Phil Latzman on Hugo Chavez's fight to keep his job against upstart opponent Henrique Capriles. Also discussed: political strife in Colombia and Latin American countries tasting rare Olympic glory during the Summer Games in London.