Chávez's Grand Illusions

David Fernandez / epa

Jorge Castańeda Venezuela after Chávez

The Venezuelan opposition's decision to participate in the presidential election on April 14 may not immediately seem like a wise one. In the contest to succeed Hugo Chávez, little favors opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. The Chavista candidate, Nicolás Maduro, has already been sworn in as President; the deceased leader's funeral turned into a campaign event with most of Latin America's heads of state attending; and Maduro, Chávez's handpicked successor, will have unlimited television and radio airtime at his disposal. Capriles obviously fears a replay of the 2005 parliamentary vote, when the anti-Chávez coalition abstained and was eliminated from...

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