Chavez leaves a mess - and a fortune for his family

Before the Venezuelan government calls me a CIA agent, let me tell you two things about the death of Hugo Chavez:

1) He leaves a mess.  Venezuela's politics is in shambles or the usual consequence of Chavez' "personality cult" politics;

2) Chavez' family will enjoy a massive fortune estimated at $2 billion:

"According to Jerry Brewer, president of CJIA, "the personal fortune of the Castro brothers has been estimated at a combined value of around $2 billion."

"The Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has amassed a fortune of a similar scale since the arrival of Chávez to the presidency in 1999," said Brewer in an analysis published in their website."

Not bad for a left wing big mouth!

What happens next?

First, there will be elections in 30 days and it should be close.  However, the Chavez' machine is very efficient.  They will play the emotional card, a Venezuelan version of "let's win one for El Hugo".  My guess is that Chavez' successor will win this special election but the mess will continue.

Second, Cuba is likely to lose its subsidy and that will have huge consequences on the very inefficient island economy.  My guess is that Raul and Fidel are probably disappointed that they didn't go first.   Again, Cuba is the biggest loser of Chavez' death.

Overall, left center leaders in Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina will lose a lot of moral, and financial, support.

It is also a great opportunity for the US. Of course, this is assuming that the Obama wakes up from its indifference toward Latin America.   

Mr. Canto is the author of "Cubanos in Wisconsin,"  a story of our family leaving communist Cuba)   

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