Chavez's Hand-Picked Successor Ekes Out Victory

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 15 2013 9:24 AM

Hugo Chavez's Political Heir Ekes Out Victory in Venezuela

166649843
Nicolas Maduro celebrates his presidential election victory in Caracas, Venezuela, on April 14, 2013.

Photo by Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, was declared the winner by less than two percentage points late last night of a brief but bitter campaign to succeed the late Venezuelan president. (The latest available numbers have the final tally at 50.7 percent for Maduro to 49.1 percent for challenger Henrique Capriles.)

Given Chavez's blessing and his position as interim president, Maduro had always been expected to win the special election. But in the weeks that followed the late president's death, challenger Capriles managed to whittle away at Maduro's lead and came remarkably close to pulling off the upset (via the Washington Post):

Polls days before the vote showed Maduro, 50, a former union activist with close connections to the Castro brothers in Cuba, with a double-digit lead over Capriles, 40, a lawyer and governor. Capriles lost to Chavez in an October election, dispatched handily despite a long and hard-fought campaign, and his outlook for victory in the days after Chavez’s death appeared grim. But after running an intense campaign, Capriles closed the gap in recent days — leading to a near tie that the opposition may end up contesting.
Advertisement

Indeed, Capriles quickly suggested after the race was called that he would demand a recount, something that in Reuters' words "could cause instability in a deeply polarized nation with the world's largest oil reserves." Maduro suggested that he would accept a recount, however the election board declared the win "irreversible," making the prospects of one uncertain. The two men's final tallies were separated by only 235,000-odd ballots.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Mad About Modi


Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.


Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.