We must cover the economic problems coming for Venezuela separately from the renewed political instability. Usually these go together but in a system based on autocracy and personality cult they somehow can be treated separately.
If Chavez indeed leaves power sometime in January there will be elections no later than April. That the Constitution says 30 days is irrelevant since there is no way to organize and run a campaign in 30 days unless we already know an official date of "resignation" by Chavez. April is thus a realistic goal that all will agree on even if it violates the Constitution.
If you think that the October 7 vote was unfair just wait for the April vote when the country will have less money and a less "appealing" candidate than Chavez. This time the CNE will be even more partial than it was for Chavez, cheating will reach new heights. And every penny will be thrown to the street, leaving a terrible situation for June 2013 when the new guy is sworn in.
But that is not all what the new guy will find on his desk (I am 99,99% sure it will be a HE, by the way). We inherit an already difficult economic situation because of the expenses for the October 7 vote. And the renewed disease of Chavez will leave some essential macroeconomic problems unaddressed In short order: gas price increase, devaluation, unsustainable price control, Mercosur start.
We are facing a crisis which cannot be described with complacent terms such as "fiscal cliff".
With this two posts written in a row and going straight to the bone I hope that any reader will be able to understand that the irresponsibility of a single man, driven by his sick ego, will leave a torn out and politically broken country by next June. Chavez own version of Spring 1945. Let's see if from each side we find serious folks willing to sit together and face the reality even before Chavez dies. I doubt it.