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Hatred and Antisemitism during Venezuela’s election campaign

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Regardless of the last election results and the individual political preferences of every person, there are facts that demand correction. By Beatriz W. de Rittigstein

In the months preceding the presidential elections which took place on October 7, we witnessed a series of actions that rocked the social peace. Similar incidents repeated themselves in the last election campaign.


Following the preliminary elections, in which Capriles was elected to challenge Chávez, the antisemitic propaganda, which has been promoted in the country for a decade, intensified considerably, making use of the variety of communication means at the disposal of the national communication system as well as the media channels which are sympathetic to the government.


The Jewish roots of the opposing candidate were utilized, in order to attack him, the Jewish community and the State of Israel. In other words, the use of antisemitism gained strength as a tool in the hands of the Chávez supporters in the electoral campaign.


Capriles was arbitrarily accused of being supported by the power of the “Zionist capitalism” and that he “was acting against the interests of the state, in favor of Israel”. They assured their potential voters that he is the candidate of the “Imperialistic Zionism” and acts on behalf of the “Jewish Lobby” etc.


This foolishness did harm not just to the Jews, but caused great damage to Venezuela’s shaky democratic system, up to the point where, in effect, it has become similar to a totalitarian regime, in which the minorities are hurt, due to its disproportional power, and no one is punished or held accountable for that.


Despite the enormous and exaggerated number of articles and national TV and radio programs attacking Zionism, it should be clarified that Zionism concerns the longing of the Jewish people to a state in the country where its forefathers lived in biblical times. The demonization of Zionism is one of the new forms of antisemitism, and actually it is an attempt to turn this very antisemtism into a morally accepted subject.