|Governor of Lara|
|Preceded by||Luis Reyes Reyes|
|Mayor of Barquisimeto|
|Succeeded by||Amalia Saez|
June 19, 1961 |
|Political party||Advanced Progressive
(since Feb 2012 - previously PSUV and Fatherland for all)
Henri Falcón Fuentes (born 17 June 1961) is a Venezuelan politician. He was mayor for two consecutive terms of Barquisimeto, Iribarren Municipality (2000 - 2008) and is the current governor of Lara State (since 2008).
Born in Nirgua, Yaracuy State 17 June 1961, Falcón began his secondary studies at Valencia, Carabobo State, Venezuela until he entered in the armed forces of Venezuela in Caracas as non-commissioned officer of the army. He left the army with the rank of Maestro Técnico de Primera (the third highest of the eight ranks of sub-officials in the Venezuelan military). In 1987 he married Marielba Díaz, with whom he had four children. In 1992 he began his graduate studies in political science at Simón Bolívar University.
During his studies in Caracas he met Hugo Chávez shortly before the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts, and through Chávez met Luis Reyes Reyes (who later would be the Governor of Lara between 2000 and 2008). Falcón was elected as a delegate to the 1999 National Constituent Assembly from Lara State.
In the regional elections of 2000, he was elected mayor the city of Barquisimeto, Iribarren Municipality, the third most populous city in Venezuela, earning 51.61% of the vote. He was reelected in the regional elections of 2004 with an overwhelming 64.33% of the vote.
Governor of Lara State
Falcón's campaign for governor of Lara was characterized, in contrast to other the candidates of the pro-government PSUV, by his failure to use images of himself with Chávez in his banners, posters and placards, as well as by promoting the candidates of his own REF party and its allied Movimiento Revolucionario Larense (MRL, "Revolutionary Movement of Lara") and Gestión que se Siente (GES, "Management that Feels"), which together formed the Alianza Eficiente ("Efficient Alliance"). Nevertheless, all had the backing of the PSUV.
He also managed to attract part of the opposition vote for the regional elections of 2008 into the Alianza Eficiente grouping, making him the governor who obtained the largest percentage of support of any in Venezuela, with 73.15% of the votes (448,536 votes), mostly contributed by the PSUV (324,814 votes, which represented 72.41% of the total of the votes received by Falcón and 53.24% of the total vote in Lara), although with the result that REF became the third largest party of Lara with 33,545 votes (7.47% of the total number of votes received by Falcón and 5.49% of the total vote in Lara).
After the elections, the Legislative Council of Lara State remained consisted of 12 legislators of the PSUV and one each from Patria Para Todos (PPT, "Fatherland for All"), the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and Accion Democratica (AD). Nevertheless, sectors[who?] insinuated that Falcón wanted to create a divisive current, and that all who had double party membership should be submitted to investigation, there being six PSUV legislators within the so-called "Alianza Eficiente": Omar Jiménez, Zenaida de Salas, Leída Lara, Grace Lucena, Ernesto Sepúlveda and Reina Orellana.
In 2007, Chávez's party, Movimiento V República (MVR, "Fifth Republic Movement"), of which Falcón was a member, was transformed into the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). On 21 February 2010 Governor Falcón, at the time called a "Chavista light", gave a letter to President Hugo Chávez declaring his resignation from the PSUV to join the more independent pro-government party Patria Para Todos (PPT, "Fatherland for All"), and to become a member of the latter party's national directorate. Falcón declared that "The relation between a Head of state and the governors and mayors cannot be limited to the emission of instructions or orders without the minimum opportunity that we can confront points of view, to analyze the pros and the cons of your determined initiatives and to revise or to revoke decisions that, after their execution, turn out to be harmful or objections to the interest of the region or of the country".
- Leidys Asuaje, El gobernador más votado el 23-N no utilizó portaaviones ("The governor who received the most votes on November 23 did not utilize aircraft carrier"), El Nacional/GDA. 2008-12-04.
- Henri Falcón ganó gobernación de Lara con 73,15 por ciento de los votos ("Henri Falcón won governorship of Lara 73.15% of the votes"), Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN). 2008-11-24.
- “En el REF no somos desleales a Chávez” ("In the REF we are not disloyal to Chávez"), El Informador, 2008-12-07.
- “Los eficientes” tendrán mayoría en el Legislativo, "The 'efficients' will have a majority in the legislature", El Informador, 2008-12-07.
- Gobernadores socialistas ratificaron su compromiso por la enmienda constitucional ("Socialist governors ratified their commitment to constitutional amendment"), Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias 2008-12=14.
- PPT incorporará a su directiva al gobernador Henri Falcón, "PPT will incorporate governor Henri Falcón into its directorate", El Impulso, 2010-03-06.
- La carta que Henry Falcon escribio a Chavez para anunciar su salida del PSUV" ("The letter that Henri Falcón wrote to Chávez to announce his exit from the PSUV", El Universal / Notícias 24, 2010-02-22. Quote: ""La relación entre un Jefe de Estado y los gobernadores y alcaldes no puede limitarse a la emisión de instrucciones u órdenes sin la mínima oportunidad de que podamos confrontar puntos de vista, analizar los pros y los contras de determinadas iniciativas y revisar o revocar decisiones que, luego de su ejecución, resultan dañinas o inconvenientes al interés de la región o del país."