Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died Tuesday after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 58.
A deeply polarizing figure, he reoriented Venezuela toward a path that had both socialist and anti-American tendencies over the course of his 14 year-rule. His supporters point to the vast network of social safety nets he created for the poor of Venezuela, while detractors emphasize the autocratic nature of his rule.
In recent weeks, the secrecy with which officials handled his deteriorating health became a political issue in Venezuela. His death leaves open questions about the future of the country-- and about the real impact of his legacy.
Hannah Strange is Latin American Correspondent for the London Times; Phil Gunson is a Caracas based freelance journalist, who writes for The Economist; and Elio Aponte is founder of the Organizacion de Venezolanos en Exilo.