As Chávez recovers from mystery illness, successor unclear for Venezuela
The mystery illness afflicting President Hugo Chávez — confined to a Havana hospital for two weeks after emergency surgery to treat a “pelvic abscess” — has brought into sharp focus the absence of any credible replacement for the man his followers like to call the comandante-presidente.
Despite assurances by government leaders and the president’s family that he is on the mend and will be home “in 10 to 12 days,” the lack of detailed information about Chávez´s condition has brought inevitable speculation that it could be life-threatening. El Nuevo Herald on Saturday quoted a source saying that Chávez was “in critical condition, not grave, but critical, complicated.”According to the official version, Chávez experienced abdominal pain while in a meeting with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and was rushed to hospital. Since then, the only images of him that have emerged have been photographs published by the Cuban newspaper Granma.