Chavez’ Successor TBD By Elections

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Dies From Cancer

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday, left behind a nation that holds one of the world’s largest known reserves of oil.

His successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, announced his death on Venezuelan television – likely to many poor Venezuelans accustomed to receiving various subsidies from the redistribution of wealth from the country’s nationalized oil industry.

And, though Chavez helped prime Maduro as his eventual successor, it’s not clear whether circumstances in Venezuela will afford him that opportunity.

Venezuela’s constitution requires that an election be held to replace Chavez within 30 days. Maduro isn’t the only likely candidate; National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, who heads the country’s military, may also seek the office. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, whom Chavez defeated in the 2012 elections, could also run again.

A February poll conducted by Reuters placed Maduro in front of Caprilles in a hypothetical election. Cabello was not included in the polling.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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