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|
|Vice president of the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela|
23 January 1999 – 22 December 1999
|Preceded by||Ixora Rojas|
|Succeeded by||none (congress dissolved)|
|President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Republic of Venezuela|
23 January 1999 – 22 December 1999
|Preceded by||Ixora Rojas|
|Succeeded by||title abolished|
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]) is a Venezuelan politician and lawyer, currently serving as 36th Governor of Miranda. Born in Caracas on 11 July 1972, he received a degree on law from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, and later tax law from the Central University of Venezuela. Capriles first ventured into politics at age 26, when he became the youngest member ever elected of the Venezuelan parliament. He secured a seat into the Chamber of Deputies in the 1998 parliamentary elections, under the Christian democratic party Copei. He served as Vice President of the Congress and President of the Chamber of Deputies until their dissolution by the Constitutional Assembly in August 1999.
In 2000, he co-founded the political party Primero Justicia, alongside politicians Julio Borges and Leopoldo Lopez, and ran successfully for the mayorship of the Baruta municipality in the regional elections held in July 2000. Two years into his first term as mayor, a failed coup d'état took place, temporarily removing then-President Hugo Chávez from office. The Cuban embassy, located in the Baruta municipality, was attacked and received severe damages; Capriles was charged of these attacks and was arrested in May 2004, only to be released on probation in September. At the 2004 regional elections, Capriles was re-elected as mayor of Baruta for a second term, defeating government candidate Simón Pestana with 79% of the vote. Unable to seek a third term as mayor, Capriles ran for the governorship of the Miranda state at the 2008 regional elections, defeating incumbent Diosdado Cabello.
After President Hugo Chávez's health started to decline, Capriles became the strongest contender to stand a chance at the 2012 presidential elections. He was later selected as the formal opposition candidate after winning the primaries held on February 2012. However, he lost the election against Chávez, who was re-elected for a third term with 55.1% of the vote. Having lost the election, Capriles ran for a second term as governor of Miranda in the 2012 regional elections, defeating Elías Jaua. After Hugo Chávez' sudden death on March 2013, Capriles ran again at the extraordinary 2013 presidential elections against pro-Chávez candidate and vice president Nicolás Maduro. Maduro narrowly defeated Capriles by a margin of less than 1.5%, in a victory that the opposition considered as electoral fraud. Capriles refused to accept the results, claiming election irregularities.
Capriles Radonski is of Sephardi Jewish and Ashkenazi Jewish descent; his grandparents immigrated from Russia and Poland during World War II. However, he considers himself as a fervent Catholic, revealing that his greatest hero in history was Jesus Christ. Capriles dated Venezuelan actress Erika de la Vega between his first and second tenure as Mayor. Prior to his political career, he worked in the public and private sectors at several tax and law firms of Venezuela. Capriles is a member of the International Fiscal Association.
Henrique Capriles was born in Caracas on 11 July 1972. His parents are Monica Cristina Radonski-Bochenek and Henrique Capriles García. His maternal grandparents were Ashkenazi Jewish that immigrated from Russia and Poland during World War II. His grand-grand parents were murdered in the Treblinka extermination camp. His maternal grandmother, Lili Bochenek de Radonski, spent 20 months in the Warsaw Ghetto. Capriles' paternal grandfather, Armando Capriles-Myerston, was of Sephardi Jewish descent.
Capriles' father was a successful businessman. In the 1950s, he helped launch Kraft Foods' entry into Venezuela by inviting the vice-president of its Nabisco subsidiary and persuading him to invest in the country. His maternal grandparents, Andrés Radonski and Lili Bochenek de Radonski, immigrated to Venezuela in 1947. Andrés was an engineer active in the cinema business in Poland. He opened his first cinema several years later in the eastern city of Puerto La Cruz. The company operated under the name Circuito Radonski. It was merged in 1998 alongside Venefilms and Grupo Blanco to create the country's largest cinema chain, Cinex.
Capriles was raised a Catholic. His parents agreed to educate their children in the Catholic faith until they were old enough to decide for themselves. Capriles continued being a "fervent Catholic" through his adulthood, commenting that his greatest hero in history was Jesus Christ. Capriles enrolled at the Andrés Bello Catholic University to study commerce law. He received his degree in 1994, and then continued studies at the Central University of Venezuela. He received a degree in tax law several years later. He took additional studies at the IBFD International Tax Academy in Amsterdam, the Pan American Center of Tax Managers in Viterbo, and Columbia University. He is a sitting member of the International Fiscal Association and the World Association of Young Jurors.
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Early years and Chamber of Deputies (1995-1999)
Capriles first ventured into politics between 1995 and 1998, when he aided his cousin, deputee Armando Capriles, in the writing of laws for the Bicameral Comission of Energy of the then-existing Congress of the Republic. Armando, who was a partisan of the Christian democratic party Copei, later offered Henrique the possibility of being a candidate for a seat at the Chamber of Deputies at the 1998 parliamentary elections, under the belt of Copei. Capriles accepted, and successfully secured a seat at the Congress in prepresentation of the Zulia state. He became the youngest member ever elected of the Venezuelan parliament, and later held the positions of Vice President of the Congress and President of the Chamber of Deputies. On August 1999, the Constitutional Assembly abolished Capriles' seat, and dissolved the Congress.
Mayor of Baruta (2000–2008)
The Congress was replaced with the National Assembly, and new deputees were elected in a general election held in 2000. That year, Capriles founded political party Primero Justicia, alongside politicians Julio Borges and Leopoldo Lopez, although the entity already existed as a civil association since 1992. He did not run for a seat at the newly created Assembly; however, he and Leopoldo Lopez pursued the roles of Mayors of the Baruta and Chacao municipalities, respectively, at the regional elections held in July 2000. Lopez won with 51,5% of the vote, whereas Capriles received 62,9%. Borges, instead, secured a seat in the National Assembly. As mayor, Capriles focused on the reduction of crime amongst his municipality, as well as improving the overall infraestructure of the area.
In 2002, President Hugo Chávez was the target of a failed coup d'état that removed him from office on 11 April 2002, after several days of violent protests in Caracas. The coup, triggered by a mayor political discontent among a sector of the Venezuelan population, was performed originally by members of the military and the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecámaras) represented by its president Pedro Carmona, who was declared as the interim president. The following day, the Cuban embassy, located in Baruta, received severe damages by opposition protesters who cut off water and electricity supply, smashed windows, damaged six staff vehicles, and blocked the Cuban ambassador, German Sanchez Otero, from leaving. The same day, Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin was detained by the municipal police.
Chávez returned to the presidency on 13 April 2002. Capriles then faced charges as a result of the attacks at the embassy. In March 2004, Danilo Anderson publicly declared 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. 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.
Governor of Miranda (2008–present)
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.
2013 presidential election
Capriles faced interim president, Nicolás Maduro, in a presidential election on 14 April 2013. Voters gave Maduro—who had assumed the role of acting president since Chávez's death—a narrow victory over Capriles. Capriles rejected the results of the election, claiming election irregularities and calling for a full audit of the election results. Maduro said he would accept an audit of the election results; the election board did not agree to opposition demands for a total recount.
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- "A total of 3,040,449 votes were cast in opposition primary election". El Universal. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Grainger, Sarah (13 February 2012). "Venezuela poll: Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles". BBC News.
- (Spanish) Correo del Orinoco, 22 March 2012, Lula Da Silva respalda reelección del presidente Hugo Chávez
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- "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.
- "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.
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- CIDOB biography (in Spanish)
|Mayor of Baruta
|Governor of Miranda