Chavez Health Setback Creates Uncertainty in Venezuela

0 Posted by - February 23, 2012 - Elections, Foreign Affairs, Medical

2011 08 27T231926Z 01 BTRE77Q1SSK00 RTROPTP 2 CNEWS US VENEZUELA CHAVEZ.JPG 300x209 Chavez Health Setback Creates Uncertainty in VenezuelaPresident Hugo Chavez’s revelation that his cancer may have returned has plunged Venezuela into a period of deep uncertainty as it ramps up for what many expect to be the most closely contested presidential elections in years.

Less than 24 hours after Chavez disclosed that doctors have found a new lesion that is likely cancerous in the same area where a malignant tumor was removed last year, what-next scenarios have begun to proliferate in the local media and among analysts.

Chavez could still tap a successor to run in his place, the October 27 elections could be delayed, or he could just muddle through with a campaign message that shifts attention from the state of his health to the legacy of his Bolivarian revolution.

But underlying the speculation are deeper fears of the unpredictable consequences of a vacuum of power in a country that has been dominated byChavez, 57, since he came to power in 1999.

“No one needs to be alarmed, and no one should start celebrating: because independent of what my personal fate may be, this revolution is on its way and nobody and nothing is going to stop it,” Chavez said Tuesday.

The opposition response to the news has been muted, with its unified candidate Henrique Capriles setting a gentlemanly tone by wishing Chavez a speedy recovery.

“To my opponent, as a child of God that I am, I wish him a successful operation, a quick recovery and a long life,” Capriles wrote in his Twitter account@hcapriles.

The 39-year-old governor of the populous state of Miranda, which includes a large swath of Caracas, was elected sole candidate of the opposition by an overwhelming margin in February 7 primaries that drew a large turnout.

So far, Capriles has refused to rise to bait thrown out by Chavez, who in campaign appearances last week called the younger man a “pig” and vowed to “pulverize” him in the elections.

Recent opinion polls have given him a lead over Capriles – a center-left moderate — but around a third of Venezuelans say they are still undecided.

CONTINUED at Breitbart.

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