Chavez is dead
Here is a useful analysis of the situation from an independent commentator-site.
Extract: Not only will Chavez's death leave a vacuum in Venezuela but there will doubtless be a larger leadership vacuum that other leaders will struggle to fill. In fact, one could say that Chavez was as much a beneficiary of an Americas leftist resurgence as he was the leader of it. In aggregate, the movement has been called "The New Left."
Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua are among its leaders – and the methodologies of political rule are the same in all these countries. It is the prevalence of poverty that has allowed socialism to surge to the fore, overtaking traditional conservative/military leadership coalitions.