Chavez death leaves uncertain future

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez funeral will be on Friday. Chvez died on Tuesday after a nearly two-year long battle with cancer.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elas Jaua said that Vice President Nicols Maduro will act as interim president until a constitutionally mandated election chooses the official new president.

According to Associated Press, Chavez said, if he should die, Maduro should be the socialist party candidate, and that he should oversee the convening of elections.

Assistant professor Charles Heath, Ph.D., said that former presidential candidate Gov. Henrique Capriles will oppose Maduro in the upcoming election.

If Capriles would win, it might signal a change in some ways, away from this kind of hard-left anti-American position Chvez has held, Heath said.

Heath suggested that the U.S. is partially responsible for Chvezs repeated terms as president because of our nations addiction to oil and failure to throw him out of office.

Theyre our third or fourth largest supplier of oil, Heath said. [Chvez] has made a lot of people like him because he stood up to the United States and criticized us and called us names. I dont have a problem with that. Its pretty clear that the CIA, the United States supported a coup to get him out of office and when that failed, it made Chvez stronger The United States is as responsible for Chvez as Venezuela is.

Chvez came to power in 1998, just six years after he led a failed coup attempt against President Carlos Andrs Prez. The 1992 uprising brought Chvez into the national spotlight as a political figure who stood against corruption in government. He was re-elected in 2000 and again in 2006. Although Chvez won the 2012 election, he was never sworn in due to his sickness.

Venezuelas constitution calls for an election no later than 30 days after the death of a president. Although Venezuela will comply with these rules, it is still unclear when the election will be held.

Chvez body is being held in state at a military academy in Caracas until his funeral.

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