What does the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez mean politically? Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Bret Baier that it’s a “blow to socialism.”

He said, “It’s also potentially a blow to Iran because Hugo Chavez used that position to help Iran skirt


In the absence of Chavez, Royce said socialist governments in Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba could lose ground and there’s the possibility that they could follow the more prosperous framework of Colombia.

If a competent government comes into power, Royce said the effect on the oil market will be positive. He said without Chavez micromanaging oil markets and fields, they will be more productive.

Royce said Chavez had essentially become a dictator by scrapping the constitution, seizing assets and controlling means of communication.

Elections must be held within the next 30 days. Chavez had tried to lay the groundwork for Vice President Nicolas Maduro to be his successor, a man who Royce says lacks the same enthusiasm.

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) reacted to the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Read his statement below.

“Hugo Chavez was a destabilizing force in Latin America, and an obstacle to progress in the region. I hope his death provides an opportunity for a new chapter in US-Venezuelan relations.”

In an official statement, Royce said:

“Hugo Chavez was a tyrant who forced the people of Venezuela to live in fear. His death dents the alliance of anti-U.S. leftist leaders in South America. Good riddance to this dictator.

“Venezuela once had a strong democratic tradition and was close to the United States. Chavez’s death sets the stage for fresh elections. While not guaranteed, closer U.S. relations with his key country in our Hemisphere are now possible.”

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