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Does Hugo Chavez’s Return to Venezuela Herald the End of his Reign?

By Charles Kennedy | Mon, 18 February 2013 23:08 | 0

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez disappeared from the public eye back in early December when he travelled to Cuba for an operation regarding the cancer that riddles his body. Last week he posted some photos and today a few messages on Twitter to announce that he has finally returned to his country where he will remain in a military hospital and receive further treatment.

He wrote, “we have returned to the Venezuelan fatherland. Thank you my God, thank you my beloved people.”

Government officials have confirmed that he arrived in Caracas at 2.30am local time, and was immediately admitted to hospital.

Related article: US Citizens are Paying for Venezuelan Socialism with High Pump Prices

Margarita Lopez Maya, a historian at Central University in Caracas told Bloomberg that, “it’s possible this return will be the beginning of a transition process. From the photos it’s clear that he isn’t in a condition to govern.” This has led to speculation that he will soon step down and hand power over to his Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Due to his prolonged time spent in Cuba Chavez missed the scheduled swearing-in ceremony in January. It is likely that he will now take the oath in private and then begin the process of handing power over to Maduro.

David Smilde, a sociologist at the University of Georgia and an expert on Chavez’s life, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview that, “it’s hard to know what’s next. Chavez supporters may think it’s a new stage in his recovery while the other side may think that Chavez has come back for his last weeks.”

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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