The October 7, 2012, Venezuelan Presidential Elections

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Photo of Chavez and Capriles
Deviding Line with Two Colors
Resources for Venezuela's October 7, 2012
Presidential Election
The presidential election in Venezuela on October 7th is the most competitive since President Hugo Chávez first won election in 1998. A youthful and popular Governor Henrique Capriles has been actively campaigning across the country and is rising in popularity; President Chávez, meanwhile, has dramatically increased social spending but has been forced to campaign less actively amidst his battle with cancer. Polls by leading organizations in Venezuela disagree over which candidate will emerge victorious, and by what margin.

Will these elections generate a new course for Venezuela's politics? If President Chávez wins a third term, will he remain healthy enough to serve out the next six years, and if not, what are the prospects for succession? If Capriles wins, will he be permitted to take office in a peaceful transition and how will he accommodate chavismo, a powerful political force?

The Wilson Center has experts and resources available below for more information on these decisive elections.

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Cynthia Arnson Expert:

Dr. Cynthia Arnson

Director, Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

More about Cynthia Arnson

Margarita Lopez Maya Expert:

Dr. Margarita López Maya
Profesor Titular, Center for Development Studies (CENDES), Universidad Central de Venezuela

More about Margarita Lopez Maya

Video Still Report on Electoral Study Mission:

Dr. José Woldenberg, former president of Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute, and Dr. Genaro Arriagada, organizer of the "NO" campaign against General Pinochet in Chile, traveled to Venezuela in a study mission organized by the Wilson Center and IDEA International . They present their findings and report. IDEA Latin America and Caribbean Regional Director Daniel Zovatto. Read More >

Video Still of LAP Event Election Preview:

University of Georgia Professor David Smilde, Datanálisis pollster Luis Vicente León, and Penn State University Professor David Myers, provide critical context for understanding voters' attitudes and the post-election scenario. Read More >

Video Still CONTEXT Video Interview:

Following the late-September release of his last poll prior to the election, Luis Vicente León of Datanálisis answers questions about polling results and concerns about what will happen after the election. Read More >

Video Still of LAP Event Citizen Security in Venezuela:

Roberto Briceño-León, Central University of Venezuela; Ana María Sanjuán, Andean Development Corporation; Daniel Luz, UNDP; Rogelio Pérez Perdomo, Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas; Jesús E. Machado, Fundación Centro Gumilla; and Tito Lacruz Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, analyze Venezuela's public policies on security. Read More >

Video Still of LAP Event Venezuela’s Primary Elections: What To Expect?:

Luis Vicente León, Datanálisis; Ana María Sanjuán, Andean Development Corporation; Roberto Briceño-León, Central University of Venezuela; and William Luers former ambassador of the U.S. to Venezuela discuss Venezuela’s political dynamics in this critical electoral year. Read More >

Video Still CONTEXT Video Interview:

Former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Luers interprets the opposition primary elections held in February. Read More >
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PLatin America Program Website
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Experts & Staff