BlueSky you are forgetting a couple of things about President Obama.
On the surface he seems like a very reasonable and likeable guy, however he has done nothing to end Bush Era doctrine. Guantanamo is still open; troops are still in Iraq/Afghanistan/so many other places too. There was no prosecution of Wall Street execs for the financial crisis, contrarily lots of bail outs for his buddies, despite harsh talk. In fact Obama has gone further than Bush ever did by signing in the NDAA, renewing the patriot act, trying to pass SOPA and CISPA, building of a huge NSA civilian surveillance center in Utah, drone strikes in Pakistan/Yemen/Somali/and probably a lot more to name a few. Let's not forget the destabilization of Libya and now Syria. Yeah Ghadaffi or Muslim brotherhood/alqueda? This insane turn of events isn't lost on the majority of people. US foreign policy is a paradoxical disaster right now. They are dangerous.
Listen I'm quite a liberal guy but honestly Obama may have more to answer for than Bush ever did when he's all said and done. Pretty sure the rest of the world still casts a very cautionary eye when dealing with the U.S. Now Canadian companies are not American, but it's no secret that we are pretty close allies, which puts our companies under as much scrutiny as theirs. The game may change but slowly and probably not because of Chavez’s death. Canadians can make inroads by distinguishing themselves apart from our American counter parts. Transparent business plans plus direct engagement with local/state and federal governments. Convince the respective governments that we can help them first then get them to help us convince their people.
Chavez's ability to bankroll popular movements might get dialed back temporarily but a greater foe might take his place and may have already done so. Who knows what China is up to South America, but pretty certain they will find many socially like minded friends there, if not already. Who knows whether China isn't pushing North American companies clandestinely out of contracts in South America? All I'm saying is that there are many bigger fish than Chavez out there. I think you give him too much credit.
I’m strong believer in honest business making the best of friends. We can certainly respect any country’s politics and demonstrate that our business models are of benefit to all.