Venezuela's ailing strongman Hugo Chavez unleashed a crude anti-Semitic attack on a rising opposition figure, Henrique Capriles Radonski, the New York Sun reported Thursday.
Capriles is a Catholic whose maternal grandparents were Jews from Poland. That makes him a Jew, by Jewish standards. He is emerging as a challenger to succeed Chavez, who suffers from cancer.
According to the Sun, a broadcast titled “The Enemy Is Zionism” on the main and official government radio station in Caracas said that Capriles had worked for private firms “linked to the interests of the Zionist bourgeoisie.” It called him part of a “fascist and paramilitary sect” in which “religious rites were practiced.” This "sect" allegedly planned to attack “everything that did not represent the national Aryan race.”
The broadcast accused Capriles of covertly representing Zionism, which, it said, “is hiding behind a religious and nationalist discourse” and “is the owner of most financial institutions in the world, controlling almost 80% of the global economy and communications industry almost entirely, while maintaining decision-making positions within the State Department and European powers.”
The government radio also claimed that Capriles recently met with the Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela, and discussed restoring diplomatic relations with Israel.