The rate of abstention reflects the depressed mood of many voters following the October election. The machinations of the regime, and most of all the lack of clear information about Chavez's health woes, has generated a crisis of trust that will not be easily repaired.
Amid questions surrounding his health, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez named Vice President Nicolás Maduro as his successor. Here are six major things to watch in the next few months.
After much speculation, President Hugo Chávez announced that he now had a person in mind to succeed him -- Nicolás Maduro, the minister of foreign affairs who was elevated to vice president in October. So who is Maduro, and will he ever command the loyalty of chavistas?
Time will guide what happens next, but for now Hugo Chavez's impending demise is a political tsunami that will lap the shores of almost every country in the region. It will effectively signal the end of an era. The question remains, "To whom will South America belong after Chavez?"
Sir, Yesterday, as Minister of Defense, and previously as Commander of the Venezuelan Navy, you made dangerous and irresponsible remarks of sufficien...
In his book The War of All the People , academic and Latin America-expert Jon Perdue carefully presents the case for why the United States should be worried about terrorism south of the border.
Not a single word filters out, not one doctor dares to bear witness, not one revelation escapes through the media. Nevertheless, there's a feeling of nervousness in the air.
The true picture of Venezuela today is the polar opposite of Chavez's fantasies. His regime has never looked so vulnerable and the opposition has never looked so strong. As we ready ourselves for the next set of challenges the December 16 elections are the next opportunity to remind the world that Chavez is far from invincible.
As part of an eight-member delegation from the National Lawyers Guild, we spent the week leading up to the October 7 Venezuelan presidential election in Caracas, learning about the electoral system that Jimmy Carter has called "the best in the world."
Finance Minister Guido Mantega continues to decry what he considers a currency war perpetrated on Brazil by the U.S. Federal Reserve's loose money policies.
Deserving peacemakers may not be people you would think of because they have either been vilified or completely ignored by the Western press.
It's a part of the world where I feel more at home than in any other, a continent I feel deeply rooted in. It's a part of the world that feels unjustly neglected and it's true: Who seems to care today? Who addresses this relationship in the campaign?
As Venezuela slides further towards authoritarianism, the least we can do is recognize the latest elections were anything but perfect and very far from "democratic."
By winning 54 percent of the national vote, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez declared the election a "perfect victory." Ironically, not only was it imperfect but it amounts to an ideological defeat.
Fifty-four percent of Venezuelans have ratified Hugo Chavez as leader of their country, and Raul's regime has some breathing room. But the great polarization in Simon Bolivar's fatherland will make it more difficult to publicly sustain the maintenance of Cuba.
Mr. Chávez was quick to emphasize his centrist position during his victory speech. But does this mean that we are likely to see a more moderate Chavismo in the next few years?