End of the Revolution

Christopher Anderson / Magnum

Chévez greets his supporters on the balcony of his palace after winning re-election in 2006

Like his idol, Fidel Castro, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was one of the most garrulous and pugnacious leaders Latin America has ever known. That made his death in Caracas on March 5, at age 58, after a long and secrecy-shrouded fight with cancer, feel all the more incongruous. Chávez, who for all of his 14-year rule was as loud and ubiquitous a fixture in Venezuela and Latin America as salsa music on the sidewalks, departed the stage in silence, having been neither seen nor heard from publicly for three months.

But Chávez's...

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