Hugo Chávez's Death: Implications for Venezuela and U.S. Relations [April 9, 2013] [open pdf - 241KB]
"The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013, after 14 years of populist rule, has implications not only for Venezuela's political future, but potentially for the future of U.S.-Venezuelan relations. This report provides a brief discussion of those implications. For additional background on President Chávez's rule and U.S. policy, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R40938, 'Venezuela: Issues for Congress', by Mark P. Sullivan. Congress has had a strong interest in Venezuela and U.S. relations with Venezuela under the Chávez government. Among the concerns of U.S. policymakers has been the deterioration of human rights and democratic conditions, Venezuela's significant military arms purchases, lack of cooperation on anti-terrorism efforts, limited bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and Venezuela's relations with Cuba and Iran. The United States traditionally enjoyed close relations with Venezuela, but there has been considerable friction in relations under the Chávez government. U.S. policymakers have expressed hope for a new era in U.S.-Venezuelan relations in the post-Chávez era. While this might not be possible while Venezuela soon gears up for a presidential campaign, there may be an opportunity in the aftermath of the election."
CRS Report for Congress, R42989