Diana Villiers NegroponteJuly 25, 2012 05:14
Commentary: Venezuelans debate their political future.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves to supporters during a campaign rally for his re-election. (Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — Venezuela’s political future is clouded by unpredictable, interdependent variables. President Hugo Chavez’s health is not the only uncertainty. Venezuelans debate whether their president will leave office before or after the Oct. 7 presidential elections. They ask, if he goes, who in the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) will fill Chavez’s role? They wonder whether the October vote will be held on time, if at all; whether the opposition candidate can prevail; and whether the Chavistas will respect an opposition victory.