Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chavez health setback creates uncertainty in Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez's revelation that his cancer may have returned has plunged Venezuela into a period of deep uncertainty as it ramps up for what many expect to be the most closely contested presidential elections in years.

Less than 24 hours after Chavez disclosed that doctors have found a new lesion that is likely cancerous in the same area where a malignant tumor was removed last year, what-next scenarios have begun to proliferate in the local media and among analysts.

Chavez could still tap a successor to run in his place, the October 27 elections could be delayed, or he could just muddle through with a campaign message that shifts attention from the state of his health to the legacy of his Bolivarian revolution.

But underlying the speculation are deeper fears of the unpredictable consequences of a vacuum of power in a country that has been dominated by Chavez, 57, since he came to power in 1999.

"No one needs to be alarmed, and no one should start celebrating: because independent of what my personal fate may be, this revolution is on its way and nobody and nothing is going to stop it," Chavez said Tuesday. Read More