SOLYMONE BLOG

CHAVEZ FUTURE IN QUESTION AFTER SURGERY


CARACAS, Venezuela - The 56-year-old Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's surprise return from Cuba after cancer treatment was a classic manoeuvrings for a president who excels at showmanship. It's also likely to give him a political boost as supporters rally around their ailing leader.
  • He projected a strong, vibrant image as he stepped off a plane early on Monday. Smiling, he hugged his vice-president, broke into a song and later raised a fist in triumph. Hours later, he rallied thousands of supporters from a balcony of the presidential palace, telling them: "We will also win this battle for life."
  • Wearing fatigues and the red beret of his army days, Chavez revealed that he had been in intensive care in Cuba and held up a crucifix. "Christ is with us," he said.
  • The crowd chanted: "Oh, no! Chavez won't go!"
  • Despite the confident image, doubts about his future re-emerged as he suggested that he still isn't ready for a full comeback.
  • He told state television by telephone that he didn't expect to attend celebrations yesterday marking the 200th anniversary of Venezuela's independence from Spain. Normally, Chavez would be front and center at the patriotic event, which includes a military parade.
Still, for a president who knows how to command attention, his surprise return was signature Chavez and sent a powerful message that he remains in control.
During nearly a month in Cuba, uncertainty has swirled in Venezuela, both about how sick he is and what would happen if cancer were to force him from power.
  • The long-term political impacts of fighting cancer for a leader who thrives on the spotlight remain unclear. But Chavez will likely play up his plight to rally his movement as he looks ahead to 2012 elections, in which his allies say they are convinced he will still be their candidate.
  • Unanswered questions about Chavez's health abound. He has said he underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, and his foreign minister said it was extracted from the same part of the "pelvic region" where Chavez had an abscess removed in Cuba on June 11.
Chavez hasn't said what type of cancer is involved nor whether he is receiving chemotherapy, radiation or another treatment.
Source: Agency
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