While most people are talking about Chavez absence since his operation in Cuba on June 10th., the problems began way before that. This blog first noted Chavez’ absence and more suspiciously, his silence, on May 29th.
But the whole story really started on May 9th. when Chavez called TV Network VTV and said he had to cancel his trip to Brazil, Cuba and Ecuador. Chavez said at the time that that he had an inflamed knee, that he had gone running that day and it got worse and had to cancel the trip. He did not appear on the media to make the announcement.
Two days later, on May 12th. via his Twitter account @chavezcandanga, Chavez said that he had a problem with his senovial fluid and that the doctors were recommending an astroscopic procedure. For the next two weeks, mostly via Twitter, Chavez reported improvements, said he was treating his knee with a “magical herb” Evo Morales gave him, that it was going to be a very slow recovery for his taste, but it was not until May 22nd. that he made a public appearance, saying that his knee was still in bad shape. During this time the US announced the sanctions on PDVSA and Chavez said nothing publicly about them.
Then, Chavez announced on June 2nd that he would visit Brazil, as he met with former President Lula in private and on June 5th. said he would cancel his Sunday program Alo Presidente for the fifth week in a row, this time in order to have time to prepare for the trip. He did go to Brazil and from there to Cuba.
Then, on June 10th, while in Cuba, it was announced that he had an operation there for a “pelvic abscess” something which is typically a sequel to an operation, an infection, appendicitis, diverticulitis, hysterectomies (not applicable) or peritonitis.
On June 11th., the next day, Chavez called TV network Telesur and used the word “malignant”, saying “there is nothing malignant, there is no infection”. But a pelvic abscess is never malignant and it certainly has to be infectious.
Since then, there has been total silence. Cuban newspaper Gramma distributed this picture of the Castro brothers visiting him:
which some claim is a photoshop version of those taken last December.
This Friday is a National holiday in Venezuela and some expected Chavez to reappear, but the military parade in Carabobo is likely to be cancelled. And I am told the one on July 5th. for Independnce Day, will also be cancelled as we will not see Chavez in Venezuela then either.
Meanwhile, Chavez’ 5 day permit to be absent from the country has expired, the Vice-President has not been appointed to serve for him in the mean time, which is what the Constitution says should have been done. Vice-President Jaua, unloved within his party says that people want him to commit treason. Funny, following the Constitution can be considered “treason”
And the mystery continues, our take: Hugo is very sick, I am told is something debilitating but not fatal, but his ability to run a campaign is being put into question. There may be crazy jockeying and conspiring going on in Caracas, Havana and PSUV, but somehow the opposition has not focused on the illegalities and contradictions of the situation.
Meanwhile it has been 43 days since the first knee problem and 13 days since the operation in Cuba, 12 since we last heard from the once loquacious Constitutional President of Venezuela…
(Chavez’ brother says it will be 10 to 12 days before Chavez returns, that is a three week convalescence for a relatively young man. It must not be something simple)