The biggest story at the end of 2012, which may well be the biggest Latin America story of 2013, is the Hugo Chavez saga. What a mess. From the AP:
"The president gave us precise instructions so that, after finishing the visit, we would tell the (Venezuelan) people about his current health condition," Maduro said. "President Chávez's state of health continues to be delicate, with complications that are being attended to, in a process not without risks."
So Chavez gave precise instructions not to tell the Venezuelan people anything of substance about the state of their president's health. Instead, they are told by the government that the constitution--which Chavez wrote--will not be followed.
It's no wonder, then, that Chavez specifically addressed the military from his hiding place. It is entirely possible that in a few short days, the military will be asked to accede to the government's demand that the constitution not be followed because Chavez didn't want it to be (for the relevant constitutional issues, see this previous post) because ultimately it didn't say what he really wanted it to.
If Chavez cannot be sworn in, then this boils down to the army, sadly still the last arbiter in so many Latin American countries. Cabello, not Maduro, has the military ties, but how much does that matter? Where does the institution's allegiance lie once Chavez is gone? We'll find out in 2013.