Venezuela Contrarian Leaps From Wall Street to Campaign Trail

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela analyst Francisco Rodriguez just went from outlier to insider.

The chief economist at Torino Capital said Friday he’s setting aside some responsibilities at the boutique Wall Street firm to join Henri Falcon’s campaign to unseat Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela’s presidential election in May. Rodriguez, who has been based in New York, was one of just a few observers predicting Falcon stood a decent chance of winning the vote.

Venezuela Contrarian Leaps From Wall Street to Campaign Trail

It isn’t an entirely surprising move. While Rodriguez said in an interview this week -- before joining the campaign -- that his relationship with Falcon had no bearing on his forecasts, the two men have been close for some time. Falcon’s recent trips to court support from Wall Street and Washington often featured Rodriguez by his side, and the economist has praised the candidate’s policies as the best way to pull the country out of the chaos caused by a collapsing currency, spiraling inflation and one of the world’s worst recessions.

“Our fight is to return the country to Venezuelans,” Rodriguez, a 48-year-old native of Caracas, said in a post on Twitter. “Venezuela can’t bear six more years of Nicolas Maduro.”

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