Hugo Chávez had close ties with Venezuela's military, and hopes for a more progressive civilian policing model under President Maduro seem to be losing out to militarized strategies.
Estimates on gun ownership in Venezuela range from 1 million to 6 million, and circulation was unregulated until last year. President Maduro recently signed a law that would create a strict gun permitting process.
University faculty in Venezuela began protesting their low wages with a series of strikes dating back to February. The university system has expanded rapidly over the past 14 years.
Interim President Nicolás Maduro has spoken publicly about conspiracies ranging from murder plots to Salvadoran mercenaries. They serve as a political tool to unify the population and silence criticism.
Chávez increasingly engaged in citizen security initiatives starting in the mid-2000s. But he often skirted discussing crime, an issue that plagues Venezuela.
As Venezuela's presidential candidates kick off their campaigns in the lead-up to the April 14 election, some fear the mudslinging is distracting from needed post-Chávez policy debates.
Venezuela's presidential campaigning doesn't officially begin until April, but both candidates have gotten a head start. Interim President Nicolás Maduro has a leg up with his access to state media.
As Venezuela prepares to elect a new president, the focus has turned to whether Chávez's legacy – a petroleum-fueled political-economic system he referred to as socialism for the 21st century – can last.
Some 17 countries receive shipments of crude or refined oil products with preferential repayment terms under the Petrocaribe energy pact. But some nations fear oil shipments could stop post-Chávez.
The media will play an important role in the lead-up to Venezuela's April 14 election, and the specific reach and polarization of TV channels contributes to uneven political terrain, writes WOLA.
Many in and out of Cuba wonder if the loss of Chávez is the death knell of the Castros’ Revolution, or if it could inject urgent momentum into Raul Castro’s reform agenda, just in the nick of time.