Three months have passed since Nicolas Maduro took power in Venezuela following the death of Hugo Chavez, and almost 50 days since he became the country’s elected president. However one chooses to date his tenure, there is no denying that, as president, Maduro so far looks anything but commanding in his job.
Maduro narrowly managed to survive the election, with barely enough votes to keep the presidency in Chavista hands. Since that razor-thin, rather embarrassing performance, he has battled a constant stream of awkward difficulties, finding plenty to worry about at home and looking for enemies abroad.
In the short time since he assumed the office, Maduro has endured anger over shortages of the most basic of consumer products, faced rumors—and alleged evidence—of dangerous divisions within his United Socialist Party and accused a host of outsiders of stirring up troubles.