December 10, 2012 – On Saturday night, Hugo Chavez the President of Venezuela announced that he would return to Cuba as his cancer has returned and he will need additional surgery. He made the announcement from the presidential palace and for the first time spoke openly about his possible successor. He said if his health worsens, then Nicolas Maduro, the current Vice President should replace him as president.
The admission by Chavez was shocking from someone who is larger than life for many in Venezuela and in politics throughout Latin America. Chavez told listeners that is was absolutely vital and necessary he undergoes another operation. While talking he kissed a cross on numerous occasions and even started singing at one point.
He said there was a risk because of this operation and his sickness and therefore if he were to become incapacitated his vice president should not just finish his term, as the constitution states, but the people of Venezuela should elect him to be the president.
On Sunday morning, the Venezuelan parliament will hold a special session to speak about Chavez’s sickness and trip to Cuba. The parliament, under the country’s constitution, must approve any trip taken by the president outside the country for over five days.
This past week, Chavez had returned to Venezuela from Cuba after receiving new medical treatment. He said malignant cancer cells were found by doctors and he would be operated on in the next few days. Last July he had declared himself to be free of cancer during his re-election campaign.
During his campaign, rumors over his health followed him but did not stop him from being victorious in the election held last October. However, details about his health have been kept a secret and some who say they have knowledge of his condition say his cancer is far worse than what Chavez will publically admit.