Venezuela's Next Chapter

Will chavismo without Hugo Chévez survive?

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 makes his death in Caracas on March 5, at age 58, after a long and secrecy-shrouded fight with cancer, all the more incongruous. Chávez, who for most of his 14-year rule was as loud and ubiquitous a fixture in Latin America as salsa music, departed the stage in uncharacteristic silence after not having been seen or heard from publicly for three months.

But Chávez's demise has triggered a constitutional upheaval inside Venezuela, where he and his socialist,...

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