"Chávez has helped my family a lot," says Kimberley Pérez, a student taking time off as she is expecting a baby in January. "Capriles is making promises, but I don't believe him. It won't be the same. He's going to take away the missions."
The election result vindicated Chávez’s strategy of emphasizing his emotional connection with voters. His slogan was "Chavez, heart of my fatherland." And his fans took things further: "He who doesn't vote for Chávez doesn't love his mother," say some stickers posted around the capital.
It is difficult to know which of the government's big ideas will be fulfilled. The blueprint for the president's fourth term in office, his Candidate Proposal for the Fatherland for the Bolivarian socialist term 2013-2019, has five primary goals: to become more independent, increase control over natural resources, boost energy output, unite Latin America, and improve the environment. However, some of the specifics in the plan, such as boosting employment in mining, have been in the plans for years, even as non-oil industries in the country wither.
The country's crime rate drew international attention during the campaign, although pollsters said crime worries wouldn't change the vote of many Venezuelans. Chávez has gradually implemented a new national police force with better discipline, training, and pay than its predecessors. But a former law enforcement professional who now provides risk analysis on the country said there's no quick fix.
"Crime isn't going to change in the short term, because there's nothing you can do about it," says the ex-officer, who requested anonymity to protect his safety. "There's no police presence and if you do get caught, there's no criminal justice system. They would need to restructure the justice system, restructure the police, and pay the officers more."