Chavez’s “progressive” allies in America unavailable for comment.
(MSNBC) — Allies of President Hugo Chavez are bombarding Venezuela’s newly anointed opposition leader Henrique Capriles with attacks, questioning his sexuality, disparaging his Jewish roots and casting doubt on the legitimacy of the primary vote.
Auguring a rough campaign ahead of the Oct. 7 presidential election, the torrent of accusations against Capriles began just minutes after his landslide win at the Democratic Unity coalition’s primary on Sunday.
With Chavez himself uncharacteristically quiet, 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 — the grandson of Jews who survived the World War Two Holocaust in Poland — defines himself as a center-left “progressive” who admires Brazil’s “modern left” model of free-market economics with a strong social conscience.
The most furious accusations have come from state media commentator Mario Silva, who often targets Chavez’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 practicing Catholic, has not responded to the profile.
One cartoon, retweeted on Wednesday by a senior Chavez aide, showed Capriles in pink shorts with a Swastika on his arm, squaring up to a much larger, muscular Chavez. He often talks emotionally of his grandparents’ escape from Nazi repression.