The death of Hugo Chavez has raised questions about whether the oil largesse he generously spread through the region will continue.His influence was felt throughout the region from small Caribbean islands to impoverished Nicaragua in Central America, and larger, emerging energy economies such as Ecuador and Bolivia and even South America’s heavyweights Brazil and Argentina, where he found favor with left-leaning governments.
Our Washington correspondent Stefan Grobe spoke to Latin American political expert Diana Villers Negroponte about Chavez’s economic impact and legacy.
She believes Chavez has left the country with a myriad of economic problems.
“The country today is going through a very serious economic crisis. There are shortages of everything in the shelves of stores: little rice, little milk, little coffee. Medicines are in shortage. Spare parts for machinery, electronics, furniture, it’s all in short supply. So Venezuelans know there is a serious problem that they have to confront and that Chavez’s successor will have to remedy,” according to Villers Negroponte.
Some analysts say the death of the socialist leader is unlikely to have a big impact on Venezuela’s oil sector in the short term, with key projects expected to stay on track if his preferred successor wins elections in the next 30 days.