The two year battle with cancer ended in demise of Hugo Chavez, the extremely popular President of Venezuela. The President died on Tuesday bringing an end to 14 years of divisive rule that brought about great applauds from the poor Venezuleans.
The flamboyant leader had four operations in Cuba for the cancer of pelvic region. The last surgery was performed on December 11th and the President was not seen in public preview since that time.
Nicolas Maduro, the vice President seemed to be in understandable anguish while announcing the demise on national television. All he could say was that this was a moment of deep pain for the nation.
The corpse of the distinguished leader will lie in state at Caracas military academy and the formal funeral ceremony will be conducted on Friday. A seven-day mourning too will be observed to pay respect to the departed leader.
Chavez’s death has opened the door of the Presidential palace for Nicolas Maduro and the upcoming elections will be a test for the socialist revolution concept that Chavez promoted all his life.
According to the constitution of Venezuela, the vote needs to be held within a period of 30 days and Maduro is likely to be pitted against Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader and a state governor. Henrique Capriles had lost the election against Chavez in October last and given the wave of sympathy that is blowing fast in favor of Maduro, things seem to be going in the right track for the current vice President.
A recent opinion poll also gave an edge to Maduro and the vice President is likely to win the elections with a comfortable margin. Maduro has always been a close ally of the late President and not much changes are expected in the socialist policies if he takes over. This too will work in Maduro’s favor making the upcoming elections an easier venture for him to manage.
However, if Capriles manages to win the elections, the biggest beneficiaries would be the business class and wealthy people of Venezuela who were always on Chavez’s radar. Meanwhile, Capriles is also treading the safe path and is not revealing much about his future strategies.
The world is watching the developments in Venezuela with keen attention as the nation has world’s largest oil reserves and is also home to worlds heavily traded bonds with investors from across the globe keeping a watch on the developments.
United States too has shown its keen interest in beginning a new relationship with Venezuela post Chavez. This was clearly evident from the words of Barack Obama who expressed his deep anguish over passing of the President. He reaffirmed his faith in the Venezuelan people and showed keen interest in resuming normal ties with the country.
Meanwhile, Maduro has his task cut out and is seeking support from the diverse coalition of Chavez that included businessmen, some radical arm groups and not to forget, the masses of Venezuela.
International condolences have started pouring in and it is a month’s wait before the future of Venezuela will be out for everyone to see.