Henrique Capriles Radonski
Henrique Capriles Radonski (Spanish pronunciation: [enˈrike kaˈpɾiles raˈðonski]; born 11 July 1972) is a Venezuelan politician and lawyer, serving as 36th Governor of Miranda from 2008–2017.
Born in Caracas on 11 July 1972, he received a degree in law from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, and later in tax law from the Central University of Venezuela. He first ventured into politics at age 26, when he became the youngest member ever elected to the Venezuelan parliament. He secured a seat in the Chamber of Deputies in the 1998 parliamentary elections, under the Christian Democratic Party (Copei). He served as vice president of the Congress and president of the Chamber of Deputies until their dissolution by the Constituent Assembly in August 1999.
In 2000, he co-founded the political party Primero Justicia, alongside politicians Julio Borges and Leopoldo Lopez, and ran successfully for the mayorship of the Baruta municipality in the regional elections held in July 2000, and later for the governorship of the Miranda state in 2008. Capriles became the opposition candidate at the 2012 and 2013 presidential elections, and faced then-President Hugo Chávez and Vice President Nicolás Maduro respectively.
His defeat in 2012 marked the first loss of his political career. Maduro narrowly defeated Capriles in the 2013 elections, a result that sparked controversy and debate amid the opposition’s claims of electoral fraud. Between both presidential campaigns, Capriles successfully secured his re-election as Governor of Miranda during the 2012 regional elections. He has repeatedly been the target of smear campaigns by political opponents who seek to capitalize on homophobic and antisemitic currents in Venezuelan society.Capriles Radonski is of Sephardi Jewish and Ashkenazi Jewish descent; his grandparents immigrated from Russia and Poland during World War II. However, he self-describes as Catholic, revealing that his greatest hero in history was Jesus Christ. He dated Venezuelan actress Erika de la Vega between his first and second tenure as Mayor. Prior to his political career, he worked in the public and private sectors at several tax and law firms of Venezuela. Capriles is a member of the International Fiscal Association.
On 5 April 2017, Capriles was formally banned for 15 years from political activity accused by the Venezuelan government of alleged “administrative irregularities” which had occurred under his governorship. He ceased to be the Governor of Miranda in October after the 2017 regional elections, and subsequently declared his intent to leave the Democratic Unity Roundtable in protest against what he considered its legitimizing the Maduro government.