8-D Races to Watch: Petare, Eastern Caracas (Sucre)

escudosucre1The Sucre Municipality of Miranda State isn’t just one of the five parts which conforms the capital, Caracas, but it has also recently become a major political battleground, with both local and national implications.

Chavismo has put Petare as one of their biggest pick-up targets for the 8-D election but they had trouble finding a suitable candidate, forcing them to take an “out of left field” choice. Meanwhile, the MUD is quite confident that they can retain this important mayorship.

Mayor of Petare Carlos Ocariz, candidate of the MUD

It was expected that the incumbent mayor Carlos Ocariz would easily run for a second term. But several developments last year complicated things a little bit. 

Even if he has governed these five years with the municipal council controlled by Chavismo, and with the constant pressure of the communicational hegemony, Ocariz is still considered the favorite in the polls.

Former Mayor of Petare, Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos (2000-2008)
Former Mayor of Petare Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos (2000-2008)

But Chavismo faced a serious problem: who should be its candidate for mayor?

Ocariz’s predecessor, Jose Vicente Rangel Avalos is now the Executive Secretary of the Peace and Life Movement and PSUV’s 2008 candidate Jesse Chacón is busy as Electricity Minister. And what about talanquera-jumper MP William Ojeda? The PSUV is more than happy with just keeping him in the AN.

Antonio “El Potro” Alvarez, candidate of the PSUV and most GPP parties (expect for VBR and MEP).

So, they had two options left: going with either a low-level local, or just dropping a complete outsider. They chose the latter.

And he’s is one political outsider alright: Former baseball player/musical artist Antonio Álvarez, also known as “El Potro”.

What his plan for the Sucre Municipality? Pretty simple. Just apply a local version of the late comandante eterno’s Plan de la Patria. Ta-dah! Piece of cake, right?

Jose Luis Castañeda, candidate of VBR and MEP

Well, some local Chavistas were more than unhappy with that decision. So, they broke ranks and launched an alternative candidate, Jose Luis Castañeda.

Castañeda presents himself as the true Chavista on the race and had some harsh words for Nicolas Maduro. His plans include serious industrial development but denied rumours about his withdrawal.