Locals react to Chavez's death
DORAL, Fla, (WSVN) -- Inside the Venezuelan restaurant, El Arepazo, in Doral everyone has seen and read the headlines, President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday. The question now is, does this mean change?
The end of a socialist society and the dawn of a democratic day.
Venezuelan newspaper columnist Orlando Viera Blanco said, "We are expecting a new election, we are expecting a new political moment in Venezuela and we are very optimistic."
Radio DJ Edwin Bautista adds, "The country is divided now. There are the poor people and there is the other kind of people, which are happy now, but I think it's going to be tough. They need a change, they need a change."
However, people are pointing out other South American countries such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, that have a stake in the political future of Venezuela. Their economies are relying on an agreement to buy oil from Venezuela for cheap and sell it for a generous profit. Some estimates put the value of this aid to Cuba at $6 billion but it's uncertain if that will stand in a post-Chavez Venezuela.
Miguel Saavedro from Cuba said, "In the Cuban case, the country was not prepared for the death of Chavez and it's a big surprise."
Bautista said, "Cuba is going to be suffering, because they get their oil from them. Dominican Republic too, because they were sending a lot of oil to them and now if Capriles gets back, guess what's going to happen? He is going to call off all of that."
Henrique Capriles Radonski was Chavez's opposition in the last election and a close contender who lost.
Venezuelan newspaper columnist Orlando Viera Blanco said he has talked to family and friends in the country since Chavez died and when it comes to the political future of the country, it is too soon to call. "There is confusion on what the future is going to be. We can define the situation in Venezuela as a tense calm, waiting to see what is going to happen in the next few days," said Blanco.
That future could be determined in 30 days when the presidential election is held.
Many Venezuelan citizens said they want to vote in the upcoming election, however Chavez closed the Miami consulate last year. In order to vote, Venezuelan citizens would have to travel to the nearest consulate in Louisiana or fly to Venezuela to cast their ballots.
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