Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Chavez Governing From Cuba Feeds Questions About Leader’s Health

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on June 16, 2011

by Charlie Devereux and Jose Orozco for Bloomberg, June 15th, 2011.

Venezuelans, who in the past decade have grown accustomed to watching Hugo Chavez make national policy in near-daily television appearances, must now get used to him governing from a hospital bed in Cuba.

Since traveling to the communist island June 9 and undergoing unannounced surgery to remove a pelvic abscess, the normally hands-on leader has stayed out of the spotlight, making a single telephone call into state-run television. That’s raised questions about the true state of his health after other medical problems this year, and is forcing friends and foes alike to ask who’s in charge of South America’s biggest oil producer.

Chavez, 56, was last seen in public June 9 walking down the steps of his airplane in Havana with a metal crutch. The former paratrooper said he injured his knee while jogging last month, adding that stress had been building on the joint since his younger days playing baseball and jumping out of airplanes. (continue reading… )

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