When he wants, President Maduro can turn every channel in the country into his mouthpiece.
CARACAS, Venezuela — The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez always had superb political timing. His initial election in 1998 coincided with the lowest oil prices in decades, and he rode a steady rise in prices to a nearly impregnable, petrodollar-fueled reign of power. Although oil prices tumbled in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, they reversed course in time for his October 2012 reelection.
VANCOUVER—The line was 30 deep before 6 a.m. at the Venezuelan consulate in downtown Vancouver, the only location in western Canada for ex-pats to vote in their presidential election Sunday. By noon more than 600 Venezuelans had stood in the short hallway, marked the labyrinthine bingo-card-like ballot and dipped a pinky tip in a well of blue ink on a wooden stool.