Hugo Chávez was supposed to be sworn in for his third term as Venezuela’s president on January 10 but he hasn’t been seen in public since he went to Cuba for cancer surgery five weeks ago. John Paul Rathbone, the FT’s Latin America editor, and Jonathan Wheatley, deputy emerging markets editor, discuss the implications of this uncertainty for Venezuela and its debt.
The one saving grace for the opposition was that their de facto leader, Henrique Capriles, scraped a victory in Miranda state, but it doesn’t leave him sitting very comfortably if presidential elections really do have to be held again any time soon.
And that seems to be a very real possibility, given the state of Chávez’s health – even if it is also perfectly possible that he recovers. Continue reading »
Celebrating the fact that the economy grew 5.6 per cent during the first three months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, officials gushed with optimism about the state of the economy, which planning minister Jorge Giordani ventured could grow by as much as 7 per cent in 2012 (double some analyst expectations), talking of “a new phase of expansion”.
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