Chávez at Bay.

Hugo Chávez’s defeat in a plebiscite designed to prolong his rule and increase his power will inspire important changes not only in Venezuela, but across Latin America. While the outcome is a defeat for Bolivian President Evo Morales, Chavez's protege, the continent's social-democratic bloc, led by Brazil, can now breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Hugo Chávez’s defeat in a plebiscite designed to prolong his rule and increase his power will inspire important changes not only in Venezuela, but across Latin America. Until the vote last Sunday, South America was divided into three blocs:

· populist, powered by oil and gas ( Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador), with their Marxist model societies, Nicaragua and Cuba, propped up by Chavez’s “petrodollars;”

· social democratic( Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru); and

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