Ben Delicious reports from Caracas: So, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela continues to play hide and seek with his people, having returned in secret back from Cuba where he was undergoing treatment after his fourth, or was it his fifth, operation for removing cancerous tumors. The news was delivered on twitter by the great man himself. Couldn’t appear in person or on the box, you see. Doesn’t look fit yet. Which might send the wrong message to the masses, especially after he had so spectacularly missed his inauguration ceremony, having been too busy doing other stuff in Havana.
In his twitter messages to his nation President Chavez thanked God and his people for standing by him and allowing him to finally touch base at his Motherland. He’s been in power for 14 years now and, having won another election last year, feels he can carry on for another term easily, once he gets on his feet proper. At some point or other. Maybe even by the summer. Of 2013 or 2014.
The beauty of the situation is that Mr Chavez’s inauguration has been postponed indefinitely. So technically speaking he can get better for as long as it takes and still remain President. Especially as Vice President Nicolas Maduro is running things at the moment and seemingly liking it a lot. Mr Chavez should be careful though. Some people get into the groove of staying in high office and start getting ideas.
The opposition is saying that as Chavez’s term has ended and he failed to show up to take the oath an interim head of state should take over and decide whether it would be a good idea to get a new President altogether in a new election. But Vice President Maduro is obviously having none of it, basking in his new found glory. Not to mention that the masses are not yet getting restless, giving their beloved leader a fighting chance.
Now call me a cynic but the situation in Venezuela sure smacks of some George Orwell novel that he might have written but never published. Still, the fifth biggest producer of oil in the world can probably afford to have a leader who is keeping a very, very low profile, having no nukes or weapons of mass destruction, but it still comes across as weird. And what’s even more surprising is that no one in the freedom loving West is seemingly worried about a country run by a man who can’t even show himself to prove that he’s still alive. It’s all very nice posting a photo of Mr Chavez, with his two lovely daughters by his side, resting comfortably in a Havana hospital bed, but what if he’s lost it completely, for example, or has been substituted by some look alike from the Cuban intelligence? Because if he were really feeling well, why wouldn’t he appear on the box and wave to his supporters and say something uplifting like: ‘I’m feeling great, folks. In fact, I’ve just been working on my acceptance speech that I will post on twitter in shorts bursts.’ Or maybe something similar.
Bit awkward really, this whole situation. Not to mention that it’s rather surprising that President Chavez chose Cuba of all places to receive his treatment for the past two years. Does it mean that Venezuela can’t provide adequate care for him? Or maybe all that oil money has simply vanished and the health system is no longer functioning?
Still, at least no one from the outside world is raising concerns. So that’s OK then.