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.