If reports about the deteriorating health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez are true, not only Venezuela's but also the whole region's political systems could be in jeopardy. Chavez's larger-than-life persona has made him almost indispensable in political matters and several countries in the Latin American region — such as Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia — could suffer the consequences as the subsidies they receive from Venezuela could be halted.
"The relationship between Hugo Chavez and Venezuela is a sick one. As long as the country's political system relies so heavily on only one man, chaos will always be one medical emergency away. What Venezuela needs is governance by institutions, not charisma. Failure to reform will continue to deliver dysfunctional governance — something that could have dire consequences not only in Venezuela but also in the rest of the region."