om the beginning of his rule in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has stridently criticized Israel. In recent months, Chavez has found a more vulnerable target: the Jewish population inside Venezuela.
Last week, an angry mob broke out in Miranda, Venezuela’s second largest state. Reports indicate that the Mayor of Miranda’s capital city incited an angry group of Chavez supporters to paint Nazi swastikas on the home of an anti-Chavez Jewish politician, Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski. “We are showing Capriles that …people are opposed to his continuous attacks against the initiatives and socialist projects of president Chávez,” explained Los Teques Mayor Alirio Mendoza. Governor Radonski is a charismatic Chavez opponent, and has spent time in jail for a minor role in Venezuela’s failed coup of 2004. Further, since he is perhaps the only well-known Jewish politician in the country, it is easy to understand why he has become a prime target for irate Chavistas.