Falcón ought to be the favorite. He’s up against Nicolás Maduro, the deeply unpopular and increasingly authoritarian president who is seeking another six-year term despite leading this oil-rich nation into its worst economic crisis in decades.
Yet Falcón is the underdog.
He’s resigned to the usual dirty tricks from the ruling Socialist Party, including the use of state food hand-outs to lure hungry people into voting for Maduro.
But what most infuriates him is friendly fire: Venezuela’s largest opposition parties are denouncing Falcón as a stooge for participating in an election they say will be a sham – and which they have vowed to boycott.