Another video, more questions, but Hugo Chavez is certainly recovering from something serious

June 29, 2011

Today we were presented with another video which certainly convinces people that Hugo Chavez is alive, but he is definitely not well. You may want to watch the whole thing, but it is boring, here it is, for all you masochists or Chavologists out there:

The video is certainly made to convince us that Chavez is fine, showing him talking this time around and reading the headlines as “proof of life”, but the President is certainly thinner, less energetic and definitely recovering from something. What it is, is anybody’s guess at this time, but he disappeared for 18 days and right now he is still not well enough to either address the Nation or hold the Summit to celebrate Venezuela bicentennial next week on July 5th. That is  a total recovery time of 24 days total, not common in surgery even for very serious procedures unless there is a follow up treatment that knocks you out.  The Summit has been officially cancelled, even if Chavez could still try to show up for the military parade that day.

And as La Patilla showed, a key fact about the President’s health is seen in the first few seconds of the video above, when Chavez is shown walking out of the building followed by a wheelchair, the speculation being that he got out of it right before the video began. You can also see the wheelchair in the distance in minute 3:20 or so of the video. But here it is in the first few seconds of the video:

since Chavez is walking towards Fidel and greets him later in the video, it follows that he was brought out in the chair and it was kept nearby just in case and to move him around in the parts of the meeting between Fidel Castro and Chavez which are not shown in the video.

What is clear is that, as I suggested a couple of days ago, Chavez has been very ill, is recovering and receiving “strict medical treatment” as stated in the press release cancelling the Summit. The videos seem aimed more at Chavismo than the rest of the world, sort of sending the message he is still around, don’t stir the pot and follow the party line or else.

But there is no question that things will be different if Chavez’s illness is chronic or serious and will diminish his ability to campaign and/or run the country. This changes the game. With a Chavez with diminished popularity, the upcoming campaign already required his full attention and convincing the people to vote for him. If what he has is a long term problem, and his three week disappearance indicates that whatever it is, it is not trivial, then not only his supporters, but his collaborators will begin questioning whether he should be or not the revolution’s candidate in 2012. This in itself may result in a weaker effort by Chavez’ supporters, worried about their long term future and stability and the possible demise of the Bolivarian revolution.

In fact, this proof of Chavez’ life, resulted in another rally in the country’s debt today. A weakened Chavez is better than no Chavez at all, which would lead to uncertainty and a possibly chaotic future for the country between now and December 2012. And the possibility of a Chavez exit after December 2012, kept investors bullish about the prospects for the country’s debt.

62 Responses to “Another video, more questions, but Hugo Chavez is certainly recovering from something serious”


  1. Excellent reporting!
    Thanks.

  2. jau Says:

    El Pran esta vivo!!!

  3. jau Says:

    El Pran esta vivo!!!
    Lo unico que falto en el video es un piquito entre Fidel y El Pran

  4. Susan Says:

    Perhaps Fidel has offered prez Chavez a vice presidential place in Cuba ? S.

  5. Gringo Says:

    Given Thugo’s anti Semitic and anti-Israel stances – remember during the 2006 Israeli Heubollah conflict he said that Israel was worse than the Nazis- it is SICK to use the theme from Exodus in the background.

    After the first few measures, I turned off the video in disgust.

    • NicaCat56 Says:

      Gringo, I absolutely agree with your assessment. I also wondered why this video was accompanied by “imperialistic” music. Very strange…I had to turn it off, as well.

  6. amieres Says:

    It’s worth noting the methodology followed by Cuban intelligence in the release of this video:

    - First they released a very short, highly edited version with no sound. Very suspicious looking with little content to encourage a lot of speculation.
    - The next day they release a less edited version with the same scenes as before with sound and much more complete. This version is to throw egg on the faces of those that over speculated with the first video.

    It would’ve been easier to just release the second version first because it’s much less edited than the other one.

  7. Roy Says:

    “A weakened Chavez is better than no Chavez at all, which would lead to uncertainty and a possibly chaotic future for the country between now and December 2012.”

    Concur.

    • Andres F Says:

      I disagree, if Chavez’s weakness were to improve (which is possible), the result is far worse than no Chavez.

  8. Marypuchy Says:

    Anything is possible in Venezuela…………… Just bizarre!

  9. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Now that the July 5th bicenntenial celebrations have been cancelled, has there been a make-up date proposed? Are there any rumors? 1 week later? 2 weeks? Anything?

  10. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Further to above…

    How is that one man, ….one….,can cancel an entire nations celebration of its all important 200th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence from Spain? That’s insanity.

    • loroferoz Says:

      They should be canceled, alright. I would not celebrate any of that.

      It’s just humiliating and discordant to have celebrations of independence from one country when clearly, Venezuela is being governed from another, Cuba, by an ailing tyrant, not Chavez, but his daddy-o Fidel Castro.

  11. RWG Says:

    Dr. Faustus,
    Maybe its time for Spain to make a comeback and help Vzla out.

    • Roberto N Says:

      Ha! Fat chance! All Spain wants is to sell weapons to Venezuela, and keep as many Spanish companies and landholders out of expropriation as they can. Period

  12. m_astera Says:

    The summit meeting of heads of state, which was supposed to happen on Isla Margarita after the 5th of July, has been canceled, not the independence day celebrations.

  13. Mike Says:

    With egg on face (the “he can speak miracle” happened) proudly back to my 1st speculation: opiate (and who knows what other substances) addiction and rehab. Time frame would be right. Wheelchair is a misleading / planted prop.

    Pass the popcorn. The soap opera is getting better by the day.

  14. GeronL Says:

    did you say “certainly recovering”???

    darn. :)

  15. captainccs Says:

    Reminds me of “El Derecho de Nacer” sort of a local Payton Place. If I recall, Don Rafael was the villain who lost his voice and when he finally got it back he revealed the secret. Billo Frómeta made a song of it and Manolo Monterey sang it. If you go half way down the linked page, you get to play it:

    http://melomanoincurable.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/968/

  16. Zumbao Says:

    Ah guaros ridiculos, la musiquita esa, el socialismo y la ciencia mezclada con J.G. Hernandez.

    Lo de Chavez siempre ha sido un efrentamento entre el ruralismo balurdo y anacronico, y la Venezuela educada y al dia.

    • Kepler Says:

      I disagree. It would have been over already.
      Lo de Venezuela ha sido siempre un enfrentamiento entre el ruralismo salvaje y anacrónico y la Venezuela que se cree educada y al día pero que es tan anacrónica como lo primero.

      Venezuela is a feudal country. If we had a real progressive society (but for a very tiny handful of individuals), we wouldn’t have had that Chávez character in the first place.

      • maria gonzalez Says:

        “Lo de Venezuela ha sido siempre un enfrentamiento entre el ruralismo salvaje y anacrónico y la Venezuela que se cree educada y al día pero que es tan anacrónica como lo primero.”

        I agree 100% with this!

      • Zumbao Says:

        You might be right…

    • loroferoz Says:

      Nope, oil has been a game changer.

      There’s also the masses around Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo and other cities, living in barrios, and always voting the next big populist to come out.

      There is an upper (middle does not exist anymore) class used to get a huge share of the oil rent by dealing with said big populist.

      • Kepler Says:

        Only to some extent. Oil has definitely enabled connected groups to shift a lot.

        First we had the mantuanos. These were mostly replaced by the military caste after the independence and specially after the Guerra Federal. Then the military were – at least for some decades – replaced a bit by the AD-COPEI bands plus some well-connected people who push their way through to the state’s oil stream. So: people moved. And yet: the newcomers took over the same mentality in no time.
        It is as Herrera Luque said: el venezolano es parejero, le gusta equipararse con los de arriba, no que los de abajo se equiparen con él.

    • Kepler Says:

      Just to stress that: I have mentioned here Alexander von Humboldt a lot. There are his Voyage to the Equinoccial Regions in different versions, some more abridged than others. Humboldt describes there the conversations he listens to from many people and it is amazing to find how how little those people have changed. It doesn’t matter there has been social mobility and all, people in Venezuela tend to fall again and again for the same mindsets.
      And the letters Humboldt wrote to his friends (unfortunately not published in Spanish, as far as I know) are even more revealing about Venezuelan society of those times…just like now.

      The “modern” guy who claimed to bring about enlightment to Venezuela was as backward as anyone else…he could just speak French.

      Miguel Pena is a “hero” for Venezuelans.
      Humboldt wrote in a private letter (my translation, I put it in Wikipedia):

      Fernando, educado como su hermano, igual de flaco, pero más alto y creyéndose un adonis, engreído, los primeros días hablaba de Raynal, Enclyclopédie, libertad para toda la gente. Pero luego salió a relucir toda la bajeza humana. El portugués [Raynal] decía que había que fundar una república blanca, en un tiempo en que la República Francesa, como no se duda, ha vuelto a introducir la esclavitud y cuando Francia está en guerra con España; en la República blanca no les dan ni a los mulatos libres derechos, los esclavos sirven a sus amos de rodillas, estos venden los hijos de los primeros. ¡Ese es el resultado de la Ilustración Americana! ¡Prohibid vuestra enciclopedia y vuestro Raynal, gente desvergonzada!

  17. E H Says:

    ok it was about chavez but fidel looks and sounds like the old fart is about to die.

  18. Antonio Says:

    A warning to all chavistas: visit Cuba at your peril. You go to a Cuban hospital with a minor ailment, and come back in a pine box feet first, or on a wheelchair. If you survive the strict treatment you will be asked to pay for the wheelchair before leaving hospital (perhaps this is the reason why Chavez has not been discharged).

  19. maria gonzalez Says:

    Y el baston? These videos or Chavez walking w/out a cane suggest to me that he never had anything in the knee. He was walking funny for other reason and the knee injury was not the real cause of the cane.

  20. loroferoz Says:

    If I were the opposition pre-candidates and eventually the candidate, and were more concerned about the health of Venezuela, I would begin campaigning tirelessly, and would sell myself as competent and energetic.

    If Hugo tries to follow suit, he stalls, crashes and burns, bodily. If he does not, he burns politically. Frankly, I prefer the manic-depressive to choose the first option. No more Huguito to bother this poor country.


  21. [...] Another video, more questions, but Hugo Chavez is certainly recovering from something serious (via The Devil’s Excrement) Posted on June 30, 2011 by pettybooshwah Today we were presented with another video which certainly convinces people that Hugo Chavez is alive, but he is definitely not well. You may want to watch the whole thing, but it is boring, here it is, for all you masochists or Chavologists out there: The video is certainly made to convince us that Chavez is fine, showing him talking this time around and readi … Read More [...]

  22. Ira Says:

    Fidel went to Spain for his intestinal surgery a few years ago, and Stupigo goes to Cuba for HIS procedure:

    In the first case, it was about for superior care (and so much for the Cuban medicine miracle). But in the latter case:

    It’s all about secrecy, so it HAS to be something serious.

  23. Glenn Says:

    Is that a rojo rojito chavez hat that Castro is wearing?

    Check out the Oppenheimer miracle of Chavez article in the Miami Herald. If I were responsible for this I’d be sick too.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/29/2291809/chavez-should-get-credit-for-economic.html

  24. John Barnard Says:

    Just watching the way Chavez walked in the first seconds of that video tell me he’s not doing too well.

  25. An Interested Observer Says:

    “if Chavez’s illness is chronic or serious and will diminish his ability to…run the country”

    Really, how would anyone know the difference? Would things actually get BETTER? ;)

  26. albionlodboy Says:

    Chavez will comeback with a vengeance, whereas before it was case of slow, quick quick slow, now it will be “time is running out ” I’ve got to have full Communism before I croak”

    The last time he was out of the picture, everyone thought
    it would mellow him. Its a safe bet he will increase the tempo
    as soon as he catches his breath..

    • loroferoz Says:

      Hugo, not that healthy, accelerating the tempo that made him sick in the first place? Accelerating the tempo of actions that are obviously self-defeating as well as unpopular?

      No more Hugo, no more chavismo. Win-win situation to me.

      It would be bad to see the guy acting as on April 15, 2002 asking for forgiveness and offering the olive branch. The lovable borderline sociopath, with no conscience and incapable of remorse, might even fool Venezuelans once more.

  27. m_astera Says:

    If Cuba is running Venezuela, who is running Cuba?

  28. steve pollock Says:

    Why not let Fidel and Raul hold the Summit along with the 5th of July celebrations. After all they control every aspect of Venezuela thru Chavez and his thugs.

  29. LGL Says:

    Reuters quotes The Devil (no credit, though) in article : Venezuelans scour video for Chavez health clues. 5th paragraph after BOTH SIDES STUDY VIDEO:

    “The video seems aimed more at Chavismo than the rest of the world, sort of sending the message he is still around, don’t stir the pot and follow the party line or else,” one blogger wrote.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-venezuela-chavez-idUSTRE75T5YI20110630

    cool, no?

  30. Dillis Says:

    Chavez will be talking live on TV from Cuba at 9pm tonight apparently. This should be interesting!

  31. deananash Says:

    Ok, he’s alive. Why not have him speak to the country for 2 minutes rather than speaking gibberish with Fidel about the ‘newspaper’? (I understand the point of the paper was to prove that the video was just made, but an address to his compadres, explaining his brief and minor illness, and perhaps referencing a current event, would have served the same purpose.) Anyone have any ideas?

  32. ErneX Says:

    He just confirmed he had cancer, a tumor was removed successfully according to him.

  33. Speed Gibson Says:

    Im really curious……doesnt the obvious contempt that Chavez is showing towards his own people by seeking medical help in Cuba really piss you people off? What does it take for you people to get mad enough to do something about his regime? Cut off your Scotch allowance?


  34. not taking sufficient time to recover can only expect poor lifespan! if given 5 yrs now ridiculous comeback (para probar que, es invencible) give him a year. the human body cannot tolerate this kind of abuse. been there


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