Chavez better, but not to be home soon

“I call him every day to give him news, he is making great improvement,” General Carlos Mata Figueroa told state TV in the latest comment from a Chavez ally aiming to quash speculation the prolonged absence means he may be seriously sick. “He’s getting better... stronger than ever,” the minister added.

At the end of a regional tour on June 10, Chavez underwent an operation in Havana for a swelling in his pelvis and has been out of public sight since, except for one set of photos.
The government originally said he would return “in a few days”, but as time has gone by and Chavez has remained in Cuba, rumors have swirled in Venezuela that the 56-year-old former soldier may have something worse like cancer.

Total dominance

His absence has highlighted the socialist leader’s total dominance of Venezuelan politics — not to mention the air-waves — and the lack of an obvious successor. “His senior ministers look dull and slightly hapless in his absence, underling his unique political charisma,” said LatinNews, a think tank based in Britain.

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