Opposition Candidate’s Campaign Plans a “Copy” of Current Venezuelan Government Initiatives

After opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles presented his “plans” for security yesterday, and unemployment on Sunday, members of the government have responded, calling them “disguises” and pointing out the hypocrisy of the opposition, given Capriles’ own poor current record as governor of Miranda state.


Mérida, May 30th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – After opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles presented his “plans” for security yesterday, and unemployment on Sunday, members of the government have responded, calling them “disguises” and pointing out the hypocrisy of the opposition, given Capriles’ own poor current record as governor of Miranda state.

Capriles presented his security plan, his principle campaign platform, yesterday in the exposition centre of a private university in Caracas.

 “Enough, Venezuelans want life,” he said, accusing the current government of not being interested in combating violence in the country.

Capriles said his security plan has four “action areas”; prevention, police, the justice system, and the penitentiary system.  In appearance, it is similar to the government’s new security mission, to be launched next month and announced last week, which has 6 main “axes”; transformation of the judicial system, alternative mechanisms for conflict resolution, prison transformation, a new system of attention to victims, encouraging solidarity based living and strengthening citizen security organisations, and to transform policing.

According to Capriles, the issue of crime can be solved “in a sensible way and in the short term” and he promised more police for the country. However, Edwin Rojas of the Justice Ministry said there is a “shortage of police in Miranda… they need 3,000 more police, why doesn’t Capriles, as governor, resolve that?”

“It’s time that we can walk the streets without fear…The days of crime are numbered in Venezuela,” Capriles said.

He then criticised the government for talking to prisoners’ leaders during the recent conflict in La Planta prison. “Either you’re on the side of crime or with the citizens who want to live peacefully.. .either crime rules or the government rules,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t negotiate with prisoners and that he would resolve the prison “problem” in “one year”.

“Our commitment is to no tolerance of violence, crime, or impunity,” he said, though he himself is well known for having avoided charges by policeman Jesús Teodoro Hernández, subjecting the officer to disciplinary measures in order to cover up the event while he was mayor of Baruta.

The opposition candidate concluded the presentation with his campaign slogan “there is a way”, saying, “This [current] government [talks about] homeland, socialism, or death. That is, whoever isn’t within their political vision deserves death”.

Capriles’ national campaign manager, Leopoldo Lopez, has also announced to press the people who will head up aspects of Capriles’ security plan, and explained that in order to design their plan they had used some “interesting” experiences from the Canadian police, who came under criticism last week for repressing student protesters and arresting nearly 700.

On Sunday Capriles also presented his employment plan, in which he promised to create one million jobs for youth. The plan has 3 “pillars”; training, state-private sector collaboration, including tax incentives for companies, and thirdly, what he called “plan my own company”; the creation of new companies. He also talked about a “second chance” plan, for those over the age of 45.

The employment plan’s emphasis on training is also not very different to the government’s existing work and knowledge mission, which has already begun training and assigning jobs. The mission aims to decrease unemployment, to train people in areas that are socially beneficial to the country such as housing and agriculture, and also involves the creation of a new production platform.

During the Sunday speech, Capriles also said he would “construct some thousand high schools” and complained that the “Chavista model…closes companies, weakens universities, and everything is oriented towards politics”.

He said that RCTV television station, whose public broadcasting concession the current government didn’t renew after it supported the 2002 short lived coup by broadcasting false information,  would “return to the screen”.

According to one AVN journalist, who attended Capriles’ presentation at the private university yesterday, “when it was over, there were about 20 buses waiting to transport those who had attended. Some of them took off their yellow t-shirts, allusive to the [opposition] party First Justice, as they got on the buses”, implying that they were paid to be there.

A “fake” campaign says the Chavez government

Vice-president Elias Jaua characterised Capriles’ governorship in Miranda state as a “fraud” and warned Venezuelans to “pay attention to his supposed security plan… in three years we haven’t seen even the first security measure to guarantee the life of residents of Miranda… he hasn’t presented nor carried out not one single plan in the most unsafe state of the country”.

According to the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs, Miranda state was the only one which saw an increase in homicides in January this year- going up to 231 that month, compared to 199 in January 2011. The ministry says it, along with Zulia and Carabobo states, has the highest crime rate.

 “Their plans are a copy of what’s already being done,” said one member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) youth in Merida to Venezuelanalysis.com

Referring to the tenth and eleventh attacks on public media in the last few months, this time shootings at the office of Catatumbo TV, Zulia state, leaving no injuries but 14 bullet holes, and a grenade attack against the offices of daily newspaper Que Pasa, Chavez said, “The desperate bourgeoisie are showing what violence is … but who can expect more of the bourgeoisie and its spokespeople?”

In response to Capriles’ plans, President Hugo Chavez said it was “regrettable” and “what the government lacks most is an opposition, we might say, that is serious and responsible”.

 “The opposition’s project is neoliberal, bourgeois, depends on imperialism, it’s an unpresentable project, especially to a people like the Venezuelan people, and that’s why they disguise it,” Chavez said.