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Maduro Moves Up

Venezuela After Chávez

Courtesy Reuters

Venezuelan presidential candidate Nicolás Maduro in front of an image of Hugo Chávez. (Jorge Silva / Courtesy Reuters)

After Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died last week, his supporters gathered in cities and small towns throughout the country to mourn the man who led the nation for the last 14 years and championed the plight of the poor. Chávez's unique leadership style and one-man rule will be difficult for any Venezuelan politician to replicate: his magnetic personality and aggressive style allowed him to make state decisions unilaterally without having to share his electoral power. The next president will not be able to rely on such traits as he faces the polarized country, dysfunctional economy, and high crime rates that Chávez left behind. And if the next leader comes from the ruling Chavista camp, as is expected, he will need to address the party's internal divisions as well.

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