A new political era is about to be born in Venezuela with the election of Nicolas Maduro. The new king’s rule is certain to be overshadowed, or compared at least, to that of his predecessor Hugo Chavez.
But for some the huge outpouring of emotion over his demise means Maduro will enjoy a lengthy political honeymoon.
El Universal columnist, Adolfo Salgueiro, is doutbtful that “Chavismo can survive without Chavez with Maduro as president, because of the way Chavismo is defined nowadays,” he said.
Venezuela’s battered economy is likely to be the first patient requiring Maduro’s attention as he battles to improve the lot of millions living in poverty.
Venezuela’s former ambassador to Europe believes that means making a clean break with the policies of the past.
Luisa Romero told euronews: “The model, as it has been operating in the past 14 years since the victory of the official candidate, I think it’s going to collapse.”
Chavez drew clear lines over which foreign power was friendly or foe, and Maduro is not expected to make any sudden significant changes.
“Of course you need to have a cool head to strengthen policies that we inherited from President Chavez and create new ones that have to be created,” according to Wladimir Ruiz Tirado, a former member of Chavez’s government.
Our correspondent in Caracas, Pablo Herrera said:
“Nicolas Maduro will lead with the added pressure of memories of his late mentor still very much alive. In addition to the challenge of reviving the economy and tackling rampant crime, he must also show that the so-called Bolivarian Revolution has taken root and has life beyond Hugo Chavez.”