The next few days are full of uncertainty, but there are a few things I know.
1. Whatever we do, however much we restrain ourselves, as much as we show respect for the passing of the President, chavistas will cut and paste the few signs of happiness (I’m looking at you, Plaza Altamira) and play them over and over again, saying the opposition is happy, dancing in the street.
2. The funeral will be massive. Presidents will fly in from all over – Belarus, Iran, all over Latin America. There will be celebrities galore – Sean Penn, Danny Glover, etc. The military will be in full regalia. It will be an apotheosis like nothing we have ever seen.
3. The election will be called, and it will be held sooner than we think.
4. The country’s economy will not collapse in the meantime. We will go into the election facing very similar conditions to the ones we faced in October. The fiscal spigot still has life in it.
5. The Chávez girls will begin playing a larger role in public life, a la Sonia Gandhi.