Will the ‘Revolution’ continue in Venezuela?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | DECEMBER 10, 2012

The long time Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez feels that his time as chief of the government is coming to an end, so he has officially named Vice-president and Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro, as the man who should occupy his post.

Hugo Chavez seems to have assumed that the cancer he suffers from will not allow him to complete or even the fourth six-year term to which he was elected on 7 October. Given this situation, Chavez addressed Venezuelans on Saturday to anoint Vice President Maduro as his successor. Minutes earlier, Chavez had announced that he would be subjected to a fourth surgery to treat a cancer that was diagnosed back in June 2011.

Chavez explained the situation of his illness: “Due to the presence of some symptoms my medical team decided to run new tests. Unfortunately, the tests revealed the presence of cancer cells in the same area affected before. So, it is absolutely necessary to submit a new surgery. ”

If the president does not survive the operation, the Venezuelan Constitution states that the vice president should take over the presidency until new elections are due. Under this assumption, Chavez said: “Nicolas Maduro not only should end the period, as mandated by the Constitution, but it is my firm opinion that he has the skills to be re-elected in the following presidential elections”.

It is the first time that Chavez openly discussed the possibility of his death and ordered his followers what to do in case he dies during or after the surgery. “I ask all the support of the people and of all streams, civil, military, under these circumstances. All support, first for the revolutionary government at this juncture and the support and unity to the decisions that have to be taken. Today we have a country, make no mistake. ”

Since being diagnosed with cancer last year, Chavez had refused to reveal the severity of their disease and the organs of the body that have been affected by it. So far, Chavez has undergone three operations, two of them to remove two separate malignancies, and received radiotherapy and chemotherapy sessions. This Friday he returned to Venezuela after spending nine days in Cuba, where he received an alternative therapy called “hyperbaric oxygenation”.

After the fourth re-election of Chavez, Nicolas Maduro has become the strong man of the Revolution. In Venezuela, he has been Foreign Minister since 2006 and has been in charge of the presidency during Chavez’s most recent trip. Maduro was a bus driver and union leader and is recognized as loyal and friendly.

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