Chavez Death Watch: wild ride gets wilder
This rollercoaster seems to be going out of control and could soon jump the rails. Hang on.
The Associated Press, the BBC, and other major news outlets are focusing on the latest official pronouncements from government functionaries in Caracastan: Hugo Chavez has developed yet another lung infection and is being treated for that. The infection is described as "severe" and his condition is now officially confirmed as "very delicate." The Chavistas still insist that their Caudillo is being treated at a military hospital in Caracas, and that he is undergoing chemotherapy and other "complimentary" treatments. Given the fact that the unsteady leadership in Caracastan prefers to remain tight-lipped about Chavez's condition, this dire report may be a clear sign that the end is very near for the ailing dictator, and that the public is being prepared for the inevitable.
Communication Minister for Caracastan, Ernesto VillegasVillegas is quoted as saying that Chavez was “standing by Christ and life conscious of the difficulties he faces.”
Villegas also took the opportunity to lash out at “the corrupt Venezuelan right” for what he called a psychological war seeking “scenarios of violence as a pretext for foreign intervention.”
He called on Chavez’s supporters, who include thousands of well-armed militiamen, to be “on a war footing.”
Spain's ABC, as usual, claims to have much more dramatic inside information: according to their sources, Hugo Chavez has been flown back to Castrogonia in an air ambulance, due to his worsening condition and the need for sophisticated medical equipment that was not available on the island of La Orchila, where he had been secretly stashed away since last week. ABC also continues to insist that a very large fast-growing tumor has been found in one of his lungs.
One change in ABC's reporting surfaced today, however. Whereas ABC had previously reported that Chavez was so close to the end that he was only receiving palliative care, today's report suggests that doctors are frantically trying to prolong his life as much as possible due to infighting among Chavista factions in Caracastan. Apparently, the followers of Nicolas "Saddamito" Maduro (vice-president and appointed heir) and Diosdado Cabello (president of the National Assembly) -- and Raul Castro's minions in Havana -- are engaged in a fierce struggle for ultimate control, and are all eager to prolong the constitutional limbo created by Chavez's invisibility.
In other words, the top Chavistas and the Castronoids are playing musical chairs. As long as Chavez is breathing, or as long as they can pretend that he is still breathing, the music continues to play and each competitor has more time to consolidate power. As soon as the dictator's death is announced, the music stops and the scramble for the chair -- or throne -- begins in earnest, and there can only be one winner.
ABC report HERE, in Spanish