Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Antisemitism in Venezuela's Presidential Election

by Lidia Lerner

The upsurge in antisemitism in Venezuela since the advent to power of Hugo Chavez reached new heights with the election of Henrique Capriles Radonski, a Catholic of Jewish descent, as opposition candidate to run against him in the October 2012 presidential election. Chavez and his supporters take advantage of Capriles' Jewish origins in order to vilify him and to warn of the dire consequences to Venezuela if he wins. This is done by a variety of methods, such as defamation, intimidation and conspiracy theories, many of which portray Capriles as a Zionist agent, and by mixing classic and neo-antisemitism. A Capriles victory, it is claimed, will inevitably lead to Zionist infiltration.

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