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Venezuela: Rumours About President Chávez's Health Continue

In Venezuela the rumours are far more numerous than reliable information, especially those surrounding the president. Since his cancer diagnosis made some months ago, opinions and forecasts have not stopped. Numerous notes and information that allegedly come from reliable sources but not identified [es] insist that the illness is serious, meanwhile official spokespersons assure that Hugo Chávez has sufficiently recuperated to continue his long presidential career.

Once again, there are apparent forks in the road that leads to the future. However, a mood of uncertainty remains in political discussions with presidential elections coming in October of this year, and in response to the results of the preliminary round [es] of the election of the opposition.

President Hugo Chávez from Angostura, in Bolívar. Photo from Flickr user chavezcandanga, 15th  February, 2012 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

President Hugo Chávez from Angostura, in Bolívar. Photo from Flickr user chavezcandanga, 15th February, 2012 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

For those who favour the new presidential term with Chavez at the helm, new campaign strategies that permit the effective recuperation of the president are necessary, as Carola expresses in her post “Chávez somos todos” (We are all Chávez) [es]:

Nos enfrentamos a una campaña electoral justo ahora cuando mi Presi necesita, por primera vez en tantos años, descanso y tranquilidad [No necesitamos] una campaña reposando en un solo hombre, sobre todo cuando ese hombre necesita que la campaña repose en otros hombros, digamos por ejemplo, en los míos, los tuyos, los hombros de todos los chavistas, millones de nosotros haciendo campaña en nuestras calles, oficinas, mercados, panaderías, plazas, universidades…

We face a new presidential campaign, just when my president needs, for the first time in so many years, rest and tranquillity [We don't need] a campaign resting solely on one man, when above all this man needs the campaign to rest on the shoulders of others, let's say, for example, on mine and yours, and the shoulders of all us chavistas [Chávez supporters], millions of us campaigning on the streets, in offices, in the markets, the bakeries, town squares and universities…

However, others are less optimistic. As Naky states, in “Con él muere todo,”(Everything dies with him) [es] a post in which she recounts part of a conversation with a newspaper delivery man who actively supports the government.

No debieras preocuparte mucho [...] esto muere cuando él muera. Todo va a morir con él. No hay hombre nuevo, no hay un cambio [...] Sólo él. Y con él se muere todo.

You shouldn't worry too much [...] this dies when he dies. Everything is going to die with him. There will be no new man, there is no change [...] Only him. And with him, everything ends.

In the meantime, Antonio Aponte, in Un grano de Maíz (A grain of corn) [es] emphasizes the importance of continuing the fight, even if it is extreme:

Súbitamente caímos en cuenta de que Chávez es humano y, por lo tanto, es mortal. La política juega con esa posibilidad, es un factor en la contienda, la derecha lo manipula, lo magnifica, lo trata con crueldad. Los Revolucionarios lo lamentamos, nos preocupamos, convertimos la adversidad en fortaleza.

La respuesta es sólo una: el imperio y sus lacayos locales crean las condiciones para un zarpazo.

Si se pasan de la raya un tantico así, debemos cerrar los medios de difusión que llamen a desconocer el orden constitucional y nacionalizar los bienes de los golpistas. La Revolución está en el deber de defenderse, de defender al Comandante, al Socialismo y las conquistas del pueblo.

Suddenly it dawns on us that Chavez is human and, therefore, is mortal. Politics plays with this possibility, a contending factor, the right manipulates it, magnifies it, and treats it with cruelty. The revolutionaries lament, we worry, we convert adversity into strength.

The only answer: the imperialists and its local footmen create the conditions for its own thrashing.

If the line is crossed to even a little bit, we ought to close off the mediums of diffusion that call for disregarding constitutional order and nationalising the resources of the golpistas [people in favour of a coup]. The revolution must defend itself, it must defend the Commandant, Socialism, and the conquests of the people.

Many discussions have centred upon the obscurity of official information with respect to the President's health. People discuss whether he only has a few months left, whether he can continue with the electoral campaign, whether he is in a position to rule, or whether he is in a state of denial. Wikileaks has also published emails in which the diagnoses are less optimistic, and these have been spread over the web after the announcement of a new surgery in Cuba.

The author of The Devil's Excrement describes it in these words:

Chavismo can do little to change the feeling that something is not right.

And finally, a critical vision from the outside, on Twitter, from @byciclemark:

Chavez is more greedy than I realized. A responsible leader would not run for re-election while combatting aggressive cancer.

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