The troubles of Argentina have been well publicized. Colombia continues to be ravaged by a well-documented civil war. And now South America's second-oldest democracy, Venezuela, is seeing turbulence that could potentially destabilize the region.
Venezuela experienced a coup in April. It was a short-lived coup, as just two days later, President Hugo Chavez was restored to power. His supporters are mostly Venezuela's poor, and some are concerned that he is inciting a class war between his nation's rich and poor.
South America seemed to have survived a previous era of frequent coups. But with many of its countries unstable, the future of democracy in the U.S.'s Western Hemisphere neighbors seems cloudy. This hour, the struggles of Venezuela and the state of democracy south of the border.
Deborah Sontag, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, wrote story "In the Time of Hugo Chavez"
This program aired on June 3, 2002.