April 14, 2013, midnight
On April 14, 2013 Venezuelan citizens will vote in a historic election to replace the late Hugo CHAVEZ. In this race CHAVEZ’s deputy and chosen successor, Nicolas MADURO (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV), will face off against opposition leader and Miranda state governor Herique CAPRILES (Primero Justicia, PJ). In last year’s election CAPRILES lost to CHAVEZ, but gained an impressive 44 percent of votes. This year, with only a month between CHAVEZ’s death and the election, both candidates have had to ramp up their campaigning tactics with MADURO working to keep ‘Chavista’ sentiments alive through his rhetoric , and CAPRILLES focusing on the PSUV’s neglect of the economy and social programming. Yet many believe that MADURO will strongly benefit from popular support for Chavismo, the emotional climate following the leader’s death, and state institutions and a bureaucracy stacked in favor of the PSUV.