“Venezuelans in U.S. hopeful of change after Chavez’s death”

CBS NEWS

Hugo Chávez, President since 1999.
Hugo Chávez, President since 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doral:  

Many Venezuelans living in the U.S. celebrated and expressed optimism Tuesday that change would come to their homeland after the death of populist President Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelans watched on TV in suburban Miami as their country’s vice president announced the 58-year-old leftist head of the oil-rich Latin American nation had died. Chavez, though cancer-stricken in recent years, had led Venezuela for more than 14 years, espousing his brand of socialism while battling what he called U.S. hegemony in the region.

Many in Florida’s large Venezuelan community are stridently anti-Chavez.

At El Arepazo, a popular Venezuelan restaurant in the Miami suburb of Doral, one person cheered, but the rest watched quietly and refrained from any celebration. An hour later, people began arriving with Venezuelan flags, cheering and crying out joyfully. Beneath the jubilation, though, was worry about what happens next.

Though Chavez left a socialist movement in firm control in Venezuela, some question how new leadership will be formed there.

“Although we might all be united here celebration today, we don’t know what the future holds,” said Francisco Gamez, 18, who showed up at El Arepazo in a track suit adorned with the Venezuelan flag.    FULL  ARTICLE

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