On Sunday, February 12th, Henrique Capriles Radonski won the primary elections in Venezuela, solidifying his candidacy for the presidency of Venezuela in this years October election. Capriles, a 39 year old lawyer and the son of Holocaust survivors is seeking to oust current President Hugo Chavez, who has been in power since 1999.
Radonski is the current governor of the Miranda state and will be the candidate of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD). He won his party’s primary election with over 62%of the vote.
Both Paul Perez and Maria Corina Machado, the other main contenders in this vote, announced that they will support Capriles.
Despite his young age, the lawyer of 39 years has relatively extensive experience in politics. He chaired the House of Representatives of the old bicameral Congress from 1999 to 2000, was mayor of Caracas from 2000 to 2008 and since 2008 he has held the position of Governor of Miranda.
His family came to Venezuela to escape the holocaust during World War II.
“They came here and they called me Nazi, when my grandmother was in the Warsaw Ghetto. My great-grandparents were killed in a concentration camp. My grandmother’s mother and father were killed by the Nazis in Treblinka,” he told the JTA last year.
Capriles insists that despite his Jewish heritage, he is a practicing catholic. Current Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is expected to leverage Radonski’s Jewish bloodline as a tactic in defeating the opposition candidate later this year.
Presidential elections in Venezuela will take place on October 7.