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Henrique Capriles Radonski

Tuesday marks the official start of Venezuela’s 10-day campaign ahead of the April 14 presidential election. The election will be a choice between interim President Nicolás Maduro and Miranda State Governor Henrique Capriles—both of whom have been unofficially campaigning for weeks.

President Hugo Chávez’ party picked up governorships in the December 16 elections with the president playing a role in the contests despite his absence in Cuba.

Top stories this week are likely to include: Strong chavista performance in Venezuelan regional elections; Mayan peoples celebrate the thirteenth B’ak’tun; Argentina faces international fiscal isolation; and Peru and Chile sign a pact to remove mines from their shared border.

Chávez’ victory boils down to a love affair with a generous petro-crat, but serious policy challenges and an uncertain economy await him in his new six-year mandate.

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