Watching Government: Venezuela after Chavez

Many anticipated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death from cancer. It still raised significant questions about what will happen next when it actually happened on Mar. 5. Chief among these within the global oil community was how soon—or even whether—multinational oil companies that once worked in the South American nation might return, and whether those that are still there can, or will, remain. James R. Schlesinger, the former US Defense and Energy secretary, said several years ago that continuity among national oil companies' midlevel executives can matter more in world oil trade than top government leadership. The problem in Venezuela is that Chavez and his followers quickly began t...

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