Henrique Capriles Radonski
|Henrique Capriles Radonski|
|Governor of Miranda|
29 November 2008
|Preceded by||Diosdado Cabello|
|Mayor of Baruta|
30 July 2000 – 26 November 2008
|Preceded by||Ivonne Attas|
|Succeeded by||Gerardo Blyde|
11 July 1972 |
|Political party||Justice First (2000–present)
Copei (Before 2000)
|Democratic Unity Roundtable (2008–present)|
|Alma mater||Andrés Bello Catholic University
Central University of Venezuela
Henrique Capriles Radonski (Spanish pronunciation: [enˈrike kaˈpɾiles raˈðonski], born 11 July 1972) is a Venezuelan politician and lawyer. From 2000 until 2008, Capriles was the mayor of Baruta Municipality of Caracas. In November 2008, Capriles was elected Governor of Miranda, defeating Diosdado Cabello. After winning the election primaries in February 2012, Capriles became the opposition candidate for the 2012 Venezuelan presidential election, temporarily handing over his duties as Governor to Adriana D'Elia. Capriles is the grandson of Jewish Holocaust survivors and a self-professed devout Catholic. He is a member of the centre-right Justice First party. Following the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, Capriles ran again as the opposition candidate in the 2013 special presidential election, challenging interim President Nicolás Maduro, who was appointed after Chavez' death.
Personal life and family background 
Capriles was born in Caracas, on 11 July 1972. He is the son of Monica Cristina Radonski-Bochenek and Henrique Capriles García. Henrique was a successful businessman, and in the 1950s, he helped launch Kraft Foods' entry into Venezuela by inviting the vice-president of its Nabisco subsidiary and persuading him to do business there. Capriles' father was from Curaçao, and Capriles' great-grandfather, Elías Capriles, was born in Curaçao in 1850.
Capriles' paternal grandfather, Dr. Armando Capriles-Myerston, was of Sephardi Jewish descent, while Capriles' paternal grandmother, Laura Garcia-Arjona, was from a Catholic family, and was related to political leader Simón Bolívar. Capriles' father was raised Catholic. Capriles' mother was born in Venezuela, to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland, who had left Europe during World War II; his grandmother's mother and father were murdered in the Treblinka extermination camp. His maternal grandmother, Lili Bochenek de Radonski, spent 20 months in the Warsaw Ghetto. His maternal grandfather, Andrés Radonski, was an engineer active in the cinema business in Poland, who after emigrating to Venezuela in 1947, opened his first cinema in Puerto La Cruz. The company "Circuito Radonski" merged into Cinex in 1998. Capriles' family currently owns "a number of apartments" on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York.
Capriles' parents agreed to educate their children in the Catholic faith until they were old enough to decide for themselves. Capriles said his faith had developed over the years, but that his time in prison in 2004 had "brought him much closer to God". Capriles has stated that he is a fervent Catholic, and in an interview in the runup to the 2008 gubernatorial elections, he said that his greatest hero in history was Jesus Christ.
Capriles studied law at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and became a specialist in commerce law in 1994. He also studied tax law at the Central University of Venezuela, and took courses at the IBFD International Tax Academy in Amsterdam, the Centro Interamericano de Administradores Tributarios in Viterbo, Italy, and Columbia University in New York. He is a member of the International Fiscal Association, as well as the World Association of Young Jurors and the Committee of Taxes of the Venezuelan American Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Venamcham). Capriles has work experience in the public sector, at SENIAT, Venezuela's revenue service, as well as the private sector, at law firms Nevett & Mezquita Abogados and Hoet, Peláez, Castillo & Duque.
Political career 
Capriles was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of Venezuela in the December 1998 elections, representing the party COPEI and becoming the youngest member of the Venezuelan parliament ever elected. He served as its Vice president until it was dissolved by the Constitutional Assembly in August 1999 and as president of the Chamber of Deputies for two years.
Mayor of Baruta (2000–2008) 
In the July 2000 elections, Capriles was elected mayor of the Baruta Municipality, representing the party Justice First (Primero Justicia). He was re-elected in October 2004, receiving 79% of the vote, defeating the Chavista candidate, telenovela actor Simón Pestana. During his tenure he oversaw a sharp reduction in the local crime rate, from 4705 crimes at the beginning of his tenure to 976 in 2007.
Capriles was Mayor of Baruta during the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt. On 12 April several incidents of violence occurred around the Cuban embassy (located in Baruta), as opposition protesters cut off water and electricity, smashed windows, damaged six Embassy staff vehicles, and blocked the Cuban ambassador, German Sanchez Otero, from leaving. Opposition supporters believed Chavez supporters had taken refuge in the embassy. Otero claimed that Capriles "should have used his authority as the mayor of Caracas' Baruta district to disperse the crowd of angry protesters"; Capriles said "he helped avert more violence by preventing protesters from storming the Embassy". The same day, Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin was illegally "detained" by Capriles' Baruta police.
Capriles was initially charged with illegally entering the Cuban Embassy by state prosecutor Danilo Anderson. Capriles claimed he was invited into the embassy, though the ambassador denied such an invitation. In March 2004, Anderson declared publicly that Capriles would be arrested; the warrant was annulled in early April. In May 2004 Capriles was arrested on the orders of Anderson, on the grounds that Capriles might flee the country; he was released on probation in September, pending his trial. Danilo Anderson, the prosecutor in the case was later murdered. In December 2006, Capriles was acquitted of the charge of fomenting violence in a siege of the Cuban embassy during the coup attempt, but five months later, his acquittal was annulled by the court of appeal, and the case was re-opened in October 2008. The U.S. Department of State mentioned Capriles' case in its 2008 Human Rights report as a denial of a fair public trial, noting that the case was re-opened after the charges relating to a different incident in April 2002 (the illegal detention of Ramon Rodriguez Chacin,) had been dropped under President Hugo Chavez's December 2007 amnesty. President Chavez's 2007 pardon of most coup backers ultimately cleared Capriles of all charges.
Governor of Miranda state 
In the Venezuelan regional elections, 2008 Capriles was elected Governor of Miranda state, defeating Diosdado Cabello. During his tenure Capriles invested in education, opening 39 schools by 2011, compared to 7 under the previous governor. Capriles passed on the governorship of the state of Miranda to the Secretary General of Miranda, Adriana D'Elia, on 6 June 2012, in compliance with Venezuelan law which states an incumbent governor can not opt for the presidency of the nation. He was elected again on 16 December 2012, beating former Vice President Elías Jaua. 
2012 Presidential election 
Capriles was selected in primaries held in February 2012 as the opposition candidate against Hugo Chávez in the presidential elections to be held in October 2012; he won the opposition primaries with 1,900,528 (64.2%) votes of the 3,059,024 votes cast (votes abroad not included).
In February 2012 Capriles was subject to what some foreign journalists characterized as attacks by state-run media sources. The Wall Street Journal said that Capriles "was exposed in a campaign in Venezuela's state-run media, which insinuated he was, among other things, a homosexual and a Zionist". A 13 February 2012 opinion article published on the web site of the state-owned Radio Nacional de Venezuela, titled "The Enemy is Zionism" mentioned Capriles' Jewish ancestry and a meeting he had held with local Jewish leaders, saying, "This is our enemy, the Zionism that Capriles today represents ... Zionism, along with capitalism, are responsible for 90% of world poverty and imperialist wars." Chavez himself has repeatedly denied allegations of tolerating or promoting anti-Semitism.
Venezuelan presidential election, 2013 
Capriles faced interim president, Nicolás Maduro, in a presidential election on April 14th, 2013. Voters gave Maduro—who had assumed the role of acting president since Chávez's death—a narrow victory over Capriles. Capriles has refused to accept the results of the election, claiming election irregularities and calling for a full audit of the election results. Maduro has stated that he will accept an audit of the election results while the election board has not agreed to opposition demands for a total recount.
Campaign positions 
According to Bloomberg News, Capriles "favors former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's mix of market-friendly economic policies combined with income redistribution." However, Lula da Silva endorsed Nicolás Maduro for the 2013 election.
Capriles declared he would analyze all contracts signed with China, Russia and any other nation and only continue those that are good for Venezuela. He also declared he will progressively liberalize currency controls to promote exports and invest more in agriculture.
- Foreign Policy
Capriles stated in an interview with Reuters that he would move relations away from countries like Belarus and Iran. He also stated that a Capriles government would "accelerate the . . . peace process" between Colombian rebel group FARC and the Colombian government.
- Kelemen, Jasmina (9 June 2011). "Anti-Jewish slurs hound Venezuelan presidential hopeful". jweekly.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Penfold, Michael (26 January 2012). "Capriles Radonski and the new Venezuelan opposition". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- (Spanish) "Un tsunami llamado Capriles: gana las primarias con un 60% de los votos y enfrentará a Chávez el 7-O". Noticias24 Venezuela. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Venezuela's presidential campaign: And then there were five", The Economist, 26 January 2012
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- Sullivan, Mark P.; Olhero, Nelson (11 January 2008), "Venezuela: Political Conditions and U.S. Policy", CRS Report for Congress: 12
- de la Rosa, Alicia (12 February 2012). "Henrique Capriles wins opposition primaries in Venezuela". El Universal. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- (Spanish) Kraft Foods en Venezuela, Kraft Foods en Venezuela. Retrieved 4 June 2012
- "Gevaar Chávez komt uit Curaçao". NOS.nl (in nl). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Campaign turns deadly as huge crowds rally for opposition candidate in Venezuela", The Times of Israel, 1 October 2012
- Shefler, Gil (14 February 2012). "Chavez opponent faces anti-Semitism". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Grainger, Sarah (13 February 2012). "Venezuela poll: Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles". BBC News.
- (Spanish) Associated Press, El Universal, 12 February 2012, Perfil Capriles, el joven rival de Chávez
- (Spanish) Diario La Verdad, 12 May 2012, Madre de Capriles quisiera hablar con Elena Frías
- Grandin, Greg. April 16, 2013. The Winner of Venezuela’s Election to Succeed Hugo Chávez Is Hugo Chávez. The Nation. Retrieved: 18 April 2013.
- (Spanish) "El insulto es el recurso de un boxeador agotado, grandote y pesado". El Universal (Caracas). 19 February 2012. "El compromiso era educarnos a los hijos en ese credo hasta que tuviéramos madurez para decidir. Y la fe la he ido desarrollando con los años. Siempre he sido católico, pero mi pasantía por la cárcel me acercó mucho más a Dios."
- Kelemen, Jasmina (26 June 2011). "Venezuelan Governor new opposition to Chavez". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Keleman, Jasmina (7 June 2011). "In Venezuela, Chavez rival demonized for his Jewish roots". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- (Spanish) El Universal, 4 November 2008, 25 preguntas a Henrique Capriles Radonski
- (Spanish) "Henrique Capriles Radonski". Alcaldia de Baruta. 2004. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Capriles cruises to victory in Venezuela's primary election". CNN. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- (Spanish) Paullier, Juan (13 February 2012). "Así es Capriles Radonski, el hombre que espera derrotar a Hugo Chávez". BBC Mundo. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- (Spanish) "Biografia". Capriles Radonski Presidente. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- (Spanish) Tal Cual, 12 February 2012, H. Capriles Radonski
- (Spanish) Primero Justicia, Historia. Retrieved 7 June 2012
- (Spanish) Nunez Munoz, Ingrid and Pineda Moran, Nury (2003), "Nuevos Partidos, Nuevos Liderazgos: Primero Justicia", Cuestiones Politicas, 30, Jan-Jun 2003, pp45-74
- Toothaker, Christopher (20 October 2008). "Chavez foe goes to trial; blames election politics". Associated Press Worldstream (LexisNexis).
- Morsbach, Greg (20 June 2006). "Venezuela mayor tried over siege". BBC News. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- PROVEA, Henrique Capriles Radonski, undated. Retrieved 7 June 2012
- El Universal, 7 September 2004, Mayor Henrique Capriles Radonski out of jail
- (Spanish) El Nacional, 17 October 2008, Reactivan juicio a Capriles Radonski por hechos en la embajada de Cuba
- "US State Department annual report on human rights, section Venezuela". El Universal. 8 March 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "2008 Human Rights Report: Venezuela". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor: 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. U.S. Department of State. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Chris Kraul, Mery Mogollon (14 February 2012). "Venezuela turnout shows hunger for peace, Henrique Capriles says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Hugo Chavez allies win 20 of 23 Venezuela governorships". BBC News. BBC World Service. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Miranda encontró su camino. Crónica de la gestión del Gobierno de Miranda 2008-2012". Gobernación del Estado Bolivariano de Miranda. Gobernación del Estado Bolivariano de Miranda. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "A total of 3,040,449 votes were cast in opposition primary election". El Universal. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- (Spanish) Correo del Orinoco, 22 March 2012, Lula Da Silva respalda reelección del presidente Hugo Chávez
- Devereux, Charlie (20 February 2012). "Chavez media say rival Capriles backs plots ranging from Nazis to Zionists". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 February 2012. Also available from sfgate.com
- Cawthorne, Andrew (1 April 2012). "Insight: The man who would beat Hugo Chavez". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
- Vyas, Kejal and Jose de Cordoba (15 February 2012). "Chávez rival hit by state attacks". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Henrique Capriles Radonski: Hugo Chavez Foe A Target Of Anti-Semitism". The Huffington Post. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Anti-Semitic article appears in Venezuela". Anti-Defamation League. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. Includes English translation of Venezuelan National Radio article.
- "Chavez allies attack new opponent Capriles as Jewish, gay". MSNBC. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
- "Venezuela's Chavez re-elected to extend socialist rule". Reuters. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Venezuela's Capriles refuses to accept Maduro victory until election audit". Russia Today. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Gupta, Girish (10 February 2012). "Meet Henrique Capriles, Chavez's first real challenger". Global Post. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Toothaker, Christopher and Ian James (20 February 2012). "Venezuelan challenger aims to oust Chavez". Washington Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Devereux, Charlie (12 February 2012). "Chavez rivals use primary to gain edge in Venezuela election". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 26 February 212.
- (Spanish) "Principales propuestas económicas de Henrique Capriles". 3lmundo.com.ve. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Cawthorne, Andrew (1 October 2012). "Venezuela's Capriles vows to help Colombian peace talks". Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
Further reading 
- "Henrique Capriles Radonski, Venezuela presidential candidate, challenges Hugo Chavez". Huffington Post. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Factbox: Venezuelan opposition leader Capriles". Reuters. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
- Henrique Capriles Radonski blog
- Henrique Capriles Radonski web site
- Henrique Capriles on Twitter
- CIDOB biography (in Spanish)
|Mayor of Baruta
|Governor of Miranda