ANALYSIS / OPINION/ Tim Padgett
Yesterday...President Hugo Chavez ended his campaign for another 6-year term...by dancing in the rain...in front of hundreds of thousands of supporters in Caracas.
But...his tough battle in Sunday's vote...with young challenger Henrique 'el flaco' Capriles...a still undisclosed cancer...plus rampant crime...could spell the beginning of the end for leftist policies that have long dominated Latin America.
At least...that's the premise floated by Time's Padgett.
Chavez's close friend Cristina Kirchner also has seen her approval ratings plummet recently in Argentina....and Ecuador's leader Rafael Correa faces growing charges of corruption...while he continues to crack down on media freedom.
ALSO : Did Chavez require workers to attend his Caracas rally...as some 2.4 million state employees were given the day off?
It's long been a common practice in Cuba...and also...it seems...in Caracas.
AND: TO WATCH: 3:17 Video Report: 2 veteran Reuters fotogs describe...their experiences with Hugo...and show their fotos of Hugo Chavez.