Hugo Chavez’s Cancer Returns – Plans For Succession

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela has announced that his cancer has returned.  He returned from Cuba after receiving treatment and went on national TV to make the announcement, “Unfortunately, during these exhaustive exams they found some malignant cells in the same area.  It is absolutely necessary, absolutely essential, that I have to undergo a new surgical intervention,” The fact he announced on television that Vice-President Nicolas Maduro should replace him if anything should happen to him, clearly indicates the prognosis for his recovery is not positive.  According to the Constitution of Venezuela, if Chavez should die within thirty days of his new term, which begins on January 10th, new elections must be held.  Vice President Maduro is a close confident of Chavez and would undoubtedly carry on with his socialist vision for the country.  According to Chavez, Maduro, a former bus driver,”is a complete revolutionary, a man of great experience despite his youth, with great dedication and capacity for work.”  In addition to Vice President, Maduro also holds the position of foreign minister, a position he’s held since 2006.  He is as anti-American as Chavez and completely loyal to him which is why he strongly supports him.  In 2011, after the US Department of the Treasury added four Venezuelan officials to its drug trafficking list, Maduro said, “A country like that has no moral authority to judge generals and political officials in Venezuela.  We reject it and we believe that the drug trafficking mafias are there, in a sick society like the United States.”  If he succeeds Chavez, relations with the US will certainly not improve in the short-term.  Fifty-Eight year old Chavez, who has dominated Venezuelan politics for the past fourteen years, is heading back to Cuba to receive further treatment.

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