CARACAS, Venezuela — Today, on the final day of the campaign, chavistas from around the country have descended upon Caracas in advance of a rally in support of acting president Nicolás Maduro, and the enduring support of their fellow comrades from around the country in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution.
Some supporters came out and quickly donned Maduro-style mustaches — but in tandem with chavista red, the effect was more Super Mario than Super Maduro:
One supporter even decided that opposition candidate Henrique Capriles needed a Maduro-style ‘stache too:
Approaching Plaza Venezuela, small busloads of supporters began making their way to Avenida Bolívar.
I took this photo right before a chavista tried to yell that cameras weren’t allowed at the rally, which was when I decided to drop 150 bolívares on a tri-color hat celebrating 4-F — the February 4 coup that Hugo Chávez led in 1992 against the administration of Carlos Andrés Pérez.
Were these kids even alive when Chávez took power (not via coup, but via election) in 1998?
Loudspeakers blared a not-so-original campaign song: Nico-nico-nico-nico, Nico-nico-nico-nico, Nico-nico-nico-nico-la! It was, however, surprisingly catchy.
These folks were a lot friendlier, and they came with their own prepared signs — in Venezuelan slang, maduro means ripe plantain, a symbol that the
chavistas, or umm, maduristas have taken up in favor of their candidate.
Back on the Sabana Grande on the way back from the Avenida Bolívar (even as the rally continues), Capriles’s party, Primero Justicia (Justice First), is one of the constituent members of the united opposition, the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD, Democratic Unity Roundtable).
These chavistas, however, were not so thrilled with a civil political discourse.
Photo credit to Kevin Lees — Caracas, Venezuela, April 2013.