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Chavez : Latin America's unifier

5 January 2013

As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez continues his battle against a lung infection following cancer surgery in Cuba. Analysts are already looking at the legacy of Commander Chavez since his rise to power in 1999. Beatriz Lecumberri is a journalist and author of the book “The Sentimental Revolution.” She spoke to euronews about Venezuela’s bilateral relations with Cuba: “There are many agreements between the two countries that cover many areas. Some are better known and more transparent than others. Bilateral relations will be revisited and I suspect changed. If Nicolas Maduro replaces Chavez then relations will continue on the same path. On the other hand if the opposition takes power then things will change and it not to Cuba’s benefit, because every day 300,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil heads for Cuba. I think that Chavez has done a lot to unify Latin America. But Latin America is now somewhat isolated and can no longer look to Chavez for inspiration or leadership. There is a leftist slant like Dilma Rousseff, assured, not flamboyant. They are many different types of leader. The big role played by Chavez in the past has changed. The region has grown up, but we must recognise the role Chavez has played in uniting a region that was split for many years.”