Hugo Chavez’s cancer is getting worse, and Colombia should be ready for an institutional crisis in neighbouring Venezuela, according to Mauricio Vargas. The last speech of Chavez, one week ago, before he went to Cuba for treatment, was full of signs of his illness. He showed up with weeping eyes, and said goodbye to his people with kisses. He wasn’t sitting as usual, but standing, which raised rumours about the pain he feels when he sits down.
Since June, when his illness was confirmed, he has had three surgeries, five chemotherapy cycles, and one radiotherapy. According to his team of doctors, his cancer has expanded to the colon, the prostate, and probably the bladder and the bowel.
This means that Chavez has been away from his position for approximately one hundred days, most of them in Cuba. It’s undeniable; Chavez is seriously ill and a few reports are already saying that he is terminal ill.
If Chavez dies, Colombia would have serious problems. Chavez has just created the Council of State, full of his allies, to handle the transitional process. Sometimes it appears that Chavez wants Nicolás Maduro to be his successor, which would also be the best option for Colombia, but he doesn’t have the same support that Diosdado Cabello has, nor the arms that the Defense Minister Henry Rangel, who is accused by the US for being the leader of the “Cartel de los Soles”, possesses.
According to Vargas, if Chavez dies, elections are going to be interrupted in order to stop the triumph of Henrique Capriles, who probably wouldn’t be able to win against Chavez, but who could prevail gainst a Chavez replacement. An institutional crisis in Venezuela would mean a high degree of risk for a conflict with Colombia, if the person who takes office decides to confront the country again. It is important to follow the evolution of Chavez’s illness: he might get better, and emerge stronger than ever, but we should be aware. (link to article)