January 4, 2013

What if Hugo Chavez Dies?

Tim Padgett, Time

AP Photo

Venezuela's 1999 constitution is one of socialist President Hugo Chavez's proudest political props. He likes to wave a pocket-size version of the charter, written shortly after he first took office 14 years ago, as often as Chinese communist leaders used to brandish Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. But now that the 58-year-old Chávez is, according to reports, fighting for his life in a Cuban hospital after difficult cancer surgery, Venezuelans are turning to his so-called Bolivarian constitution for guidance — and what they’re finding instead is a murky map that could send the western hemisphere’s most oil-rich nation into precarious governmental limbo this year.

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TAGGED: Latin America, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela

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