Failure to resolve the Venezuelan crisis could plunge the country into yet more violence, leaving it unable to address soaring criminality and economic decline and exposing the inability of regional inter-governmental bodies to manage the continent’s conflicts.
Legal challenges to the close 14 April presidential election and the government’s reluctance to commit to a full review cast a shadow over the sustainability of the new administration in an already deeply polarised Venezuela.
Uncertainty over President Hugo Chávez’s health deepens Venezuela’s fragility ahead of presidential elections in October and sparks fears of instability.
Crime and violence seriously threaten Venezuela’s medium and long-term stability, regardless of whether or not President Hugo Chávez retains power in the 2012 election.
President Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 15 February 2009 referendum, permitting indefinite re-election of all elected officials, marked an acceleration of his “Bolivarian revolution” and “socialism of the 21st century”.
President Hugo Chávez faces mounting difficulties at home and abroad. The defeat of constitutional reforms in a December 2007 referendum, a year after re-election, was his worst setback since winning the presidency in 1998.
After eight years in power, President Hugo Chávez won an overwhelming re-election in December 2006.
The five states that comprise the Community of Andean Nations (CAN) -- Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela -- all face serious crises that taken together call the stability of the entire region into question.
Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and wealthiest member of the Community of Andean Nations (CAN), is in deep political crisis, with high risk that its democratic institutions could collapse, and some possibility of civil war.