These days Chavez's influence is waning across the region as Venezuela's oil-powered economy has gone bust and concerns have been raised about his governing style, which includes the jailing of opponents. The reversal, ever more pronounced since 2009 when Venezuela's economy began to founder, has been startling compared with the days when Chavez jetted around South America giving fiery anti-American speeches and inaugurating works funded with petrodollars. "He's not flying high like he used to even two years ago," said Luiz Felipe Lampreia, a former Brazilian foreign minister. "I think he's losing his capacity to influence people and to lead, even with his own friends." Ever so quietly, some of the Venezuelan populist's biggest projects have been abandoned or mothballed, or have yet to take flight.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment