Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez was not returned from his cancer treatment in Cuba in time to be sworn in for his new term. He has had four major surgeries in the last two years, and although significant details about his illness have been kept secret, there are rumors that he might not be able to continue governing.
In his years as president, Chávez has become an icon of Latin America’s radical left. During the Bush era, a handful of South and Central American countries followed his revolutionary path and adopted his anti-capitalist and anti-US attitudes. However, while nations such as Brazil and Chile have experienced a more stable growth and progress, oil-rich Venezuela has gone through great political, social and economic turmoil.
After nearly 14 years in power, President Chávez won re-election last October. Although he received 54% of the vote, there was a more significant opposition vote (45%) than in past elections. Venezuela’s constitution says that a new election must be held within 30 days if a president is declared to be in “absolute absence.” Based on its own interpretation the Venezuelan Supreme Court has allowed Chávez’s inauguration to be postponed until the president returns, but opposition parties are putting pressure to hold new elections.
To shed light on this, TMP’s “The Great Debate” turned to the experts to ask: “Will Chavismo Live On Without Hugo Chavez?”
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