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A Venezuelan Candidate Soldiers On With Democracy Itself in Doubt

Henri Falcon risks legitimizing Nicolas Maduro ahead of a vote that has been criticized internationally.
Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon, at center in the national colors, salutes a crowd of supporters in the industrial city of Maracay on April 11.

Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon, at center in the national colors, salutes a crowd of supporters in the industrial city of Maracay on April 11.

Photographer: Wil Riera/Bloomberg

Henri Falcon’s campaign to unseat Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro is a dangerous slog.

First, government loyalists beat a top deputy so badly that doctors induced a coma to prevent brain damage. Then, Falcon canceled two of six stops in the country’s vast west amid the ensuing disarray. Pilots refuse to fly him. One-time allies boycotting the May 20 presidential election scorn him. In a nation where mass marches are the heart of politics, his rallies draw small crowds fringed by skeptical onlookers.