Venezuela election: Chavez and Capriles launch campaigns

People pass a mural of incumbent Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, 29 June Hugo Chavez, seen here in a mural in Caracas, has been in power since 1999

Related Stories

Venezuelan presidential rivals Hugo Chavez and Henrique Capriles have formally started campaigning for October's election.

Mr Chavez, seeking a third six-year term at the age of 57 but weakened after a battle with cancer, met supporters in the state of Carabobo.

Mr Capriles, 39, was visiting border regions to underline his message that remote communities have been neglected.

Opinion polls suggest that Mr Chavez has a double-digit lead.

Under his left-wing rule, the oil-rich country has followed an economic and foreign policy which put it at loggerheads with Washington.

Oil revenues have allowed him to fund programmes for the poor, but critics accuse him of populism and authoritarianism.

Split screen

"My God, give us health and life to lead these people to victory!" Mr Chavez wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

In Carabobo, he greeted crowds of supporters from a lorry, waving and blowing kisses.

In a tweet of his own, Mr Capriles called the campaign a "countdown to opening the door to the future".

Henrique Capriles speaks at a news conference in Caracas, 26 June Henrique Capriles points to Brazil as a model for Venezuela to follow

The centre-left Miranda state governor visited the remote south-eastern community of Santa Elena on the Brazilian border before travelling to La Guajira on the border with Colombia.

"My commitment is to reach the most forgotten people," he said in a speech to a small group of indigenous inhabitants in Santa Elena.

"Over there nearby is Brazil. Its government understood how to work. Brazil has taken off. Now it's Venezuela's turn."

Reuters news agency reported that state media, where Mr Capriles is normally mentioned only in insults, covered some of his activities on Sunday.

At one point, a split screen showed the rival rallies under the captions "Candidate of the Fatherland" for Mr Chavez and "Candidate of the Right" for Mr Capriles.

The election, which is also being contested by six other candidates, is scheduled for 7 October.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg


  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance


  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing


  • INDHUJA'Dorky tomboy'

    The Indian who attracted proposals through honesty


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show

Programmes

  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.