Valdai Club experts discuss Russian-Venezuelan relations after Chavez
Venezuela announced the death of President Hugo Chavez on March 6, 2013. Valdai Club experts spoke with ValdaiClub.com about the possible implications for Venezuelan-Russian relations.
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in chief of the magazine Russia in Global Affairs, said: “After the death of Chavez, Venezuela is in for a fierce political struggle with an unpredictable outcome, because the rule of the current political force is largely linked with Chavez’s personality and his ability to galvanize the masses. He faced a fairly serious opponent from the right-wing opposition in the last election he won, and his party will have a very hard time without him.”
He believes that even with the loss of a leader like Hugo Chavez, his regime has enough support in Venezuela to stay in power: “Acting President Nicolas Maduro has a real chance to be elected and ensure the continuity of the Chavez regime at least for one term. I think this is a likely scenario.” Minchenko does not rule out the possibility that Chavez’s death will split the opposition and that “alternative presidential candidates” will appear.
Chavez's death means the loss of strong leadership for Latin America and especially for the countries of ALBA and UNASUR. Chavez promoted the Bolivarian idea of a strong and sovereign Latin America in a moment of great political conservatism in the region. Не was the initiator of a policy of distancing from the Washington Consensus and rejected the extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Surely, Nicolás Maduro will continue an independent policy toward the United States of America and will cooperate with the Russian leadership, with which Venezuela shares the vision of a multipolar world. Maduro will continue ties with the European Union, China and Iran.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
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