Original art by @modográfico

No other politician in Venezuela has maneuvered our political landmine field quite like Henri Falcón. After the formal failure of the always-doomed dialogue, he stands in line as the most-likely candidate running against Nicólas Maduro in the upcoming, comically unfair presidential elections. Unlike Quico, most of us fear he won’t be our Adolfo Suárez, turning instead into a simple pawn in a 21st century Sandinista election.

Falcón is a former army officer, but unlike other chavista top military men, he doesn’t have the street-cred of participating in the 1992 coups. He was born and raised in Nirgua, Yaracuy. After leaving service, he obtained a law degree and hopped into the chavista bandwagon through his friendship with former governor Luis Reyes Reyes. Quico’s presidential dark horse was also a founding member of the MBR-200 movement in the mid ‘90s and member of the 1999 Constituent Assembly. From 2000 to 2008 he was mayor of Barquisimeto, going from then on as governor of Lara.

Although notably low-key among firebrands, he rebelled in 2007 and signed up his candidacy as governor before being appointed by the galáctico himself – the usual process. He became prominent in 2010, when he wrote a famous letter to Chávez, quitting the PSUV and joining the PPT, for what he perceived as lack of democracy inside the government party.

He formed Alianza Progresista (Progressive Alliance), and under this banner he served as governor until 2017, when he was defeated in his third reelection attempt by navy woman/soapbox car driver Carmen Meléndez.

As many other politicians in the post-1999 Venezuela, Falcón is hard to pin down ideologically. He talks a vague centrist speech that has become the darling of the left in the Venezuelan opposition, while also courting the good graces of Wall Street and powerful backers. This, admittedly, could signal he’s a good fit for the position of a transition president, and you have to acknowledge that keeping an open line with a regime who controls the army is the rational thing in his position.

People arguing Falcon’s case really can’t seem to explain how he’ll win under the type of electoral conditions that would make Daniel Ortega blush.

But there is an underlying weakness about Falcón that makes you doubt him; he talks an anodyne speech that leaves you baffled with generic condemnations of corruption and not much else. His views on the current disastrous economic model (which he supported for more than 10 years) remain unknown.

His public speeches are flat and uninspiring. Falcón recently released an unintendedly hilarious and condescending campaign tweet where he proclaimed himself candidate and savior of the poor. Even his chavista past is fraught with shiftiness: he briefly recognized Pedro Carmona during the 2002 coup.

He has never articulated his position in a trustworthy manner and, in a time when the government’s constant manipulation has made paranoia natural, you start to remember chavismo’s shenanigans with sleeper candidates.

Of course many people in the opposition have to grow up and understand that we’ll have to hold our noses when a real transition comes (to the extent that a pacific transition is a realistic possibility at this point) and accept many unsavory bargains. The thing is that people arguing Falcon’s case really can’t seem to explain how he’ll win under the type of electoral conditions that would make Daniel Ortega blush. The type of voter you’ll need to pull off the Gambian upset of Quico’s pipe dreams will not come from a lackluster politician who is widely distrusted among the opposition base.

And even if Quico’s caffeine-induced delusions become true and Falcón wins, his ever-shifting loyalties and incoherent track record (like decrying the prospect of a Capriles presidency as the worst thing that could happen to the country, after serving as his campaign manager) make you wonder if he can really survive governing with an all-mighty council of Soviets hanging over his head (and an opposition who will, righteously, doubt his every move).

Will he take the heat without breaking and enact the painful but much needed economic reforms and restore the rule of law, or will he be swallowed whole by the monster he helped create? I don’t know if I’ll vote for Henri Falcón, but I really wish that the only possibility of a peaceful endgame wouldn’t hinge on his shoulders.

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    • That’s is sort of the point Adolfo Suarez was a Falangist. He was more loyal to Franco and the King than this poor excuse of a candidate to Chavez.

  1. For a man that seems to want so much the presidency, it’s incredible how Falcón doesn’t give a d*mn about courting the opposition base. If he ever gets elected President, it won’t be now if the MUD abstains.

  2. I am amazed to see how intelligent people keep entertaininig the “pros” of a Falcon presidential bid. This man is a rat. Of all the collaborationists of the regime he is the worst. Chavez had his early followers among men of intellectual substance. Some intelligent men are now flirting with Falcon.
    What is the curse that would allow these men to promote trash like Chavez and, now, Falcon?
    We should not be content with saying : “I told you so”. We have to oppose, at all costs a repetition of the tragedy.

  3. This Falcon dude is nothing but a double-faced weasel, a disguised Chavistoide scoundrel, your typical Camaleon Criollo, well illustrated above. An opportunistic career politician, about as hideous as Claudio Fermin or worse. Has less charisma than Maduro, and about as many brains. Must have found his college degree in a cereal box or caja’de’ace, if you hear the weasel talk.. On top of that, he seems somewhat dangerous, hungry for power, on some bolibanana ego trip. He served and praised Chavez when things were going well, then dumps him, does the same exact thing with Capriles. Ship jumping rat extraordinaire.


    If that’s the kind of highly corruptible leftist scoundrels the MUD has to run Klepto-Cubazuela, after Rex lays down the mighty sanctions hammer, good luck.

    • Absolutely right! Best description possible. Flim-flam artist, mediocre as the typical Venezuelan politician can be, no hope for the Country so long as this type is even considered viable….

  4. Will he take the heat without breaking and enact the painful but much needed economic reforms and restore the rule of law..


    What i don’t understand is this idea that there is some other option, that economic reforms are optional, even when the money (soon) runs out altogether. Like business as usual would be physically possible when the military is not being paid and people are dying and nobody will lend you any money because you are unwilling or incapable of changing.

    This phobia about change, especially for the better, is baffling.

    • The more days that go by, the greater the erosion, the more chancey the recovery. I think everyone here knows this, evidence the broadcast by the union leader about the coming power blackouts, so I won’t bother everyone with it, but I did make a partial list of things that are falling apart in Venezuela. I started following Venezuela again when Chavez died, thinking that would be the change-point. Now, however … if I had not been following and just picked up a newspaper today and read about Venezuela, I think I might burst into tears. It is becoming too grody to watch this.

      At the onset of the 20th century and all the way up to the 1940’s, Venezuela was largely agricultural. With oil revenues, capital flowed into industry. A huge urban social and engineering infrastructure developed. Now, Venezuela imports at least 70% of its food, cannot feed itself, and that huge urban development cannot be supported. It is true of any developed country, that if you take away the agriculture and the electric power and water and transportation – you are going to get unsupported cities, which is where most people live. The average city-dweller in the U.S. is dependent on the infrastructures in place.

      When we have hurricanes (and floods, fires, tornadoes, volcanoes, and ice-storms) in the U.S., we evacuate the affected areas until the damage is assessed and order can be restored. In Venezuela, the hurricane has devastated the entire country, and it is being evacuated to other nations.

      The good news is that even in devastated areas, recovery takes place rapidly. The disaster is recorded, but is “forgotten” as things get back to normal. Lights come back on. Refrigerators hum. Streets dry. Roofs are replaced. People move back into their homes. Schools reopen. Supermarkets have water for sale, you can buy food again. People go back to work and the computers come on line. It’s just a rolling bitch on a rag when you have a big storm.

      Unfortunately, governments are harder to replace than a house.

      My economic recommendation for Venezuela, one that has not been emphasized enough by others, is to put a lot of attention on rebuilding the agricultural sectors and the food supplies going into the future. That means private land ownership, and private capital. The potential is there. Venezuela once exported beef. Now it’s most readily available source of protein is literally insects. There are people in India and the Far East who eat rats. It’s edible protein. One way is to barbecue them on a spit over open flame. When it is cooked, I could serve you a plate of filleted rat and you would eat it, not knowing what it was, and say it tastes good, like chicken. It is only the idea that is bothersome: it has often been said that if a consumer buying steaks here in the U.S. ever visited a slaughterhouse, they would never go near the meat counter again.

      Venezuela has a ridiculous surplus of fertile land and water. Just ridiculous. Venezuela is a billionaire, in that regard. More fertile land and water and farming resources than you can squeeze into an armored car and drive through the wall of a bank.

  5. I asked my Barquisimeto friends about him one time , when he was still governor and they grudgingly had to admit he wasnt all that bad an administrator and had a lot of sympathy even among people who hated the regime , he came accross as not an ideologue but someone who wanted to do things well and of course had his own political ambitions to nurse ………., in a situation where the oppo has little chance of finding a candidate that can be allowed to run by the regime and who at the same time can attract sympathy from dissapointed chavistas who still feel some nostalgic attachment for Chavez while being able to point out his years as part of the top oppo leadership he might feel that his time is up , that he can be the man to unite enough sympathies on both sides of the aisle to make a succesful attempt at winning a very difficult election ……I dont begrudge him his ambition and one thing we can do without is too much idolization of ideological purity , maybe he can make a tolerable president , at least under the current circumstances , during his time as governor and mayor he was far more pramatic than dogmatic in how he did things ………….the big problem I have with his candidacy (aside from the usual skepticism of the regimes willingness to stop using fraud and coercion to stay in power ) is that I dont see him attracting any substantial support from the diehard oppo regulars who constitute a hefty part of the oppo electorate ……so putting hims as candidate is not going to help the oppo win any election (assuming that were possible with a regime that is an expert at playing with marked cards) .

    • I think losing the hard oppo base may not be such a bad thing. Ma Corina campaigning for Henry, for instance, could hurt more than it helps.

      • If the entire South American continent as well as the rest of the western world have said they will not recognize the results, why take part in this illegal fraud? I used to support the idea of taking part in elections to force the regime to look “worse” before the international community, they have been ostracized by all but authoritarian regimes at this point. Nothing left to prove.

        • For the oppo to participate in any election iconditions would have to change to make them sufficiently credible that most oppo regulars will support it , thats a very tall order as the regime wont allow those changes to be made , hence there is little chance of an election involving the oppo base to be conducted , but if the govt were willing to take the risk and change the conditions then the above doubts concerning Falcons electoral performance would still stand !!

          I seem to detect from a statement from Ramos Allup that they would never go it alone , that they would only go to an election which has the whole support of the united opposition , which means that for any oppo candidate to offer himself as candidate he would have to play quisling to cooperate with the regimes plans…..

  6. I gotta hand it to the CC art staff. That image of Henri Falcón is a riot. Only thing I might have added would have been a big, fleshy, forked tongue sticking out of his mouth.

  7. I have probably posted this same comment 50 times. I’ll say it again in the hopes that someone will take it to heart.
    Venezuela desperately needs a patriot to step forward and lead the country out of this man made hell.
    The problem with Politicians is that they are politicians not necessarily patriots.

  8. Play stupid games, win stupid prices.

    Thinking about the pajaritos preñados of a transition is disingenuous at best and delusional at worst. Henri is just a straw candidate designed to fracture the opposition with the idea that “this one has a chance” by making opo leaders believe that someone with the *exact* same message as Chavismo with a blue banner has a chance of succeeding. Newsflash for all of you: You can’t compete in any market if the product you’re selling product is identical to the market leader.

    This only gets solved after the inauguration of a cheaply made memorial to the innocent victims of a bloody madrugonazo.

  9. A chameleon may be less inclined to shoot protesters.

    And to be clear, lest this comment be construed (like Quico’s The Scare Quote “Elections” are a Steaming Turd post) as an endorsement of these “elections”, I am not endorsing these “elections”, I am not endorsing chameleons, socialism, or Fidel Castro, nor am I betting that Maduro will lose.

    • This chameleon has shown enough times that he’s willing to let the shooters to shoot protesters as much as they like, piling corpses left and right.

      Because that’s what happened during the last protests in 2017 in Lara state, where he had the colectivos’ lair two blocks away from the governorship’s office and did absolutely nothing against them.

      In fact, he blatantly denied their existence, as if he had buried his head in the ground like the proverbial ostrich.

  10. Claro, sin duda alguna tiene todo el sentido del mundo convertir al tipo más mediocre, traidor y deshonesto en el “líder” de una supuesta “transición”. De verdad, lo único que sabemos de Henry Falcón es que es un oportunista del peor tipo. Así como se las da de moderado hoy, mañana puede hacer un pacto con cualquier militar corrupto y convertirse en un déspota asesino incluso peor que Maduro. La estupidez de algunos no tiene límites. Ni siquiera sé si es únicamente estupidez. Es algo peor. Es pura decadencia moral. Falcón cómo líder de la transición…qué idea tan patética. Si no fuera porque la vida de cientos de miles de personas está en juego, la vaina hasta me parecería cómica de lo descabellada y estúpida que es.

    Más allá de todo eso, el tipo no tiene ninguna posibilidad de ganar las “elecciones”. Y si las ganara, lo cual es completamente imposible, no haría ninguna diferencia para bien. Todo lo contrario.

    No se puede salir de una dictadura asesina así. De verdad.

    • “mañana puede hacer un pacto con cualquier militar corrupto y convertirse en un déspota asesino incluso peor que Maduro”

      No tienes que imaginar mucho, en 2014 y 2017 (ni en ningún otro momento) falsón hizo absolutamente nada para detener a los malandros carniceros de los colectivos que la dictadura usó para masacrar docenas de personas durante las protestas, bandas que cuando no estaban paseando y llenando de balazos a la gente por la ciudad se dedicaban a invadir casas para dejar a sus dueños en la calle.

      Además, falsón no es ningún “moderado”, ya él mismo dijo muchas veces que él es un chavista puro y duro defensor de ese montón de estiércol que es el “legado de shiabbe”


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