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    Chavez’s Swearing-In No Show: Dispensing with a Constitutional “Formality”

    According to Venezuela’s constitution, Hugo Chavez—elected president for an unprecedented fourth term in October 2012—must be sworn in as president on January 10, but it will not happen. Like so many constitutional principles in Venezuela, this requirement, according to Vice President Nicolas Maduro, is just a “formality.” Never mind the … More

    Venezuela: Hurtling Toward the Post-Chavez Chasm

    Over the holidays, Venezuelans continued to receive increasingly grim news regarding the health of President Hugo Chavez. Current Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rushed to Havana and reported back that Chavez had suffered “new complications” and that the President remains in a “delicate” condition following his fourth round … More

    Chavez's Authoritarian Regime Sweeps Governorships

    One week after Hugo Chavez stunned his nation with news of new cancer surgery and anointed Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as his heir, Venezuelans went to the polls to elect 23 governors and members of state legislatures. Initial electoral results indicate that Chavez’s candidates won in 20 … More

    Hugo Chavez Shocks Venezuela with Latest Cancer Surgery, Heir Apparent

    On December 8, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced his immediate return to Havana for a fourth round of cancer surgery. Chavez’s emergency return to Cuba for a fresh operation, the latest round of treatments there, and increasingly infrequent public appearances have left Venezuelans wondering who will be in charge of … More

    The Health of Tyrants Chavez and Castro Worries Venezuela and Cuba

    Just weeks after his October presidential electoral victory, Hugo Chavez is returning to Cuba for unspecified cancer treatment. The brief announcement of his return appears to contradict Chavez’s campaign reassurances that he had conquered cancer. Prior to the October 7 elections, Chavez, president since 1999, did all in his power … More

    Tyranny of the Majority: Darker Days Ahead for Venezuela

    On October 7, Hugo Chavez won re-election as president of Venezuela for another six-year term. While accolades continue to pour in from Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, and other unfriendly corners of the world, there is no reason to mince words: Chavez’s re-election was a sad defeat for liberal democracy, economic freedom, … More

    David vs. Goliath in Venezuela's Elections

    On October 7, millions of Venezuelans will vote for the man who will lead their country for the next six years. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s populist, authoritarian Goliath, is confident of victory. Despite battling cancer and working overtime to hide the consequences of 13 years of mismanagement, incompetence, and corruption, he … More

    Obama Should Be Guided by His Own Words on Latin America

    In his generally disappointing September 25 address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama trotted out a number of fundamental American principles. He called for a world able to “live with liberty, dignity, justice and opportunity,” and defended “universal values.” He urged an end to “the politics of division” … More

    Iran: A Strategy for the Threat Closer to Home

    The House of Representatives will soon take floor action on a piece of legislation know as the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act, aimed at protecting American citizens from Iran and defending American interests and assets in the Western Hemisphere. Introduced last March, the legislation requires the Secretary of … More

    Venezuela Refinery Disaster Spotlights Chavez's Mismanagement

    Early on August 25, a gas leak in a storage facility at Venezuela’s largest refinery led to a deadly explosion that so far has claimed 41 lives and injured at least 80 others. The horrific accident took place in the Amuay refinery, part of the Paraguaná refinery complex, one of … More