A very thin and clearly gravelly ill Hugo Chavez finally addressed the Nation tonight from Havana, Cuba and once again lied and raised questions in a clear change of heart about whether to tell or not the truth about what ailment he has been suffering and how it has been handled. Chavez, the eternal improviser, actually read the speech, saying he had a malignant tumor that was discovered after a second operation, which had not been revealed until today (Except by reporter Nelson Bocaranda, who had said it earlier).
Chavez just tried to patch up the mess created by his absence, correcting the diagnoses over which many members of his Government and himself had lied, but failing to explain the details of what really ails the President. What ails him was diagnosed and present before he went to Cuba and it may be worse than anyone thought, based on the way he looks and his suggestion that there is still malignancy around. He was clearly down, talked about the “abyss” more than once and while he called for unity among his collaborators, there were no revolutionary slogans
The uncertainty now, besides the exact nature of Chavez’ cancer, is what type of prognosis he has. For the country an orderly electoral transition is the best option. If Chavez’ ailment is more severe than we thought until a few hours ago, Venezuela may be facing a tough road ahead.