Venezuela’s anti-capitalist President, Hugo Chavez, has tried to win the vote of the rich voters in Venezula’s upcoming election. His opponent, Henrique Capriles, has reassured the poor that if he is elected, he will not abandon popular socialist welfare policies. Chavez had led in all the recent polls but that number has decreased as of late. Click below to read more.

Jason J.

Venezuela’s famously anti-capitalist president, Hugo Chavez, has urged rich voters to back him or face “civil war,” while his opponent sought to reassure the poor he will not abandon popular socialist welfare policies if he wins next month’s election.

Chavez, 58, and Henrique Capriles, 40, face off in an October 7 vote for the presidency of the South American nation of 29 million people, which has the world’s largest oil reserves and is a financier of leftist governments around the region.

Though Chavez leads the majority of Venezuela’s best-known polls, Capriles’ numbers have been creeping up in recent weeks and he is just ahead in a couple of them, leaving each side to believe it has a strong chance of winning the presidency.

Having made a political career of bashing the rich for all Venezuela’s ills – and indeed the world’s – the socialist Chavez turned to them in a campaign speech late on Sunday, warning wealthy voters they should back him if they wanted stability.

“The rich families have their families, fine houses, good vehicles, probably an apartment at the beach, properties and so on. They like to travel abroad for holidays,” he told a rally.

“Does a civil war suit them? Not at all. It only suits the extreme, fascist right embodied by the loser. It’s in the interests of the peace-loving rich for Chavez to win, and I invite them to vote for Chavez on October 7. Chavez guarantees peace, stability and economic growth.”

Chavez does not use Capriles’ name in public, routinely referring to him with the insulting epithet “majunche,” which can be loosely translated as “loser,” and insisting his supporters have violent plans to end socialism in Venezuela.

The opposition dismisses Chavez’s frequent comments about possible civil war as irresponsible scaremongering, pointing out Chavez himself led a failed military coup in 1992.

The president remains immensely popular among Venezuela’s poor, in part because of his own humble roots and folksy style, and also due to oil-funded welfare projects like subsidized food stores, and free healthcare and education.

Yahoo! News