Which I imagine is the worst thing a Venezuelan can be? Which apparently he's neither
Allies of Hugo Chávez
have begun a smear campaign against the opposition’s candidate for the Venezuelan presidency – while a row over voter lists has heightened fears that supporters of Henrique Capriles could face reprisals in their employment and personal lives.
Chávez’s supporters have been casting doubt on the legitimacy of the vote to select Capriles, questioning his sexuality and disparaging his Jewish roots after his landslide win at the Democratic Unity coalition’s primary on Sunday.
Senior officials and state media have led the attack, denouncing Capriles – a 39-year-old state governor who wants to be Venezuela
’s youngest leader – as “bourgeois” and “fascist”.
Capriles is the grandson of Jews who survived the second world war Holocaust in Poland. He defines himself as a centre-left progressive favouring free-market economics with a strong social conscience.
The most furious accusations have come from state media commentator Mario Silva, who often targets Chávez’s foes on his late night TV show The Razorblade. Silva insulted opposition leaders and then read out a purported police document reporting Capriles was caught in a car having sex with another man in 2000.
Capriles denied the allegation and said the document was falsified. Police have not commented.
Another state radio commentator, Adal Hernandez, wrote a vitriolic profile of Capriles, highlighting his Jewish family background and titled The Enemy Is Zionism. Capriles, a practising Catholic, has not responded to the profile.