A Somber Hugo Chavez Says He Needs Operation, Designates Maduro As His Succesor

December 8, 2012


A  somber Hugo Chavez appeared on nationwide TV tonight and confirmed what most people had suspected: His cancer is back, he needs to return to Cuba tomorrow and he has been under a lot of pain and discomfort.

But perhaps the mos dramatic element of his speech, was that he essentially said VicePresident (and Foreign Minister) Nicolas Maduro will be his succesor, not only as far as the Constitution says, but he also designated Maduro as his succesor should there be the need for an election for President. He also said people should vote for Maduro if this election Were to take place.

While Chavez tried to explain that this was all a surprise, the timeline of events suggests this was not the case, as his dissapearance from public view clearly implied he left because the cancer was giving him discomfort.

Since we still dont know the nature of the cancer and the operation, it is unclear if it is a dangerous procedure. The key event will be whether Chavez can or not be present on Jan. 10th and be sworn in as President. If he can, we will have to wait until his health deteriorates again, which it wil,l as a cancer recurring like this is a very bad sign. If he does not, Maduro will assume the Presidency, name his Vice-president and will have to call elections before February 10th. There is also the outside chance that the operation will not go well. This case is more complicated because independent of Chavez’ desires, The President of the National Assembly will take over after Jan 10.  if Chavez were unable to complete his term. Maduro can not hold both positions.

The country still does not know the full truth of what is going on. Unfortunately, Chavez’ absence is likely to delay important decisions on the economy. The impact on the upcoming Gubernatorial elections is much harder to determine at this time. Chavez has always been the big draw in elections, but the short time of a week, makes it difficult for the opposition to gain on the news.

31 Responses to “A Somber Hugo Chavez Says He Needs Operation, Designates Maduro As His Succesor”

  1. The third case is if the President elect is inable to be sworn in, if Chavez cant show up on Jan 10 that applies

  2. Chavez could die before Jan 10., in that case the President of the NAtional Assembly becomes President.

  3. mgh397 Says:

    I got lost in the end of the text. What 2 positions would Maduro be holding? Why on earth would the president of the NA we sworn as President? If the President dies within the first 4 years of the term the VP becomes President and calls for Presidential elections to be held within 90 days; if the President dies within the last 2 years of the term the VP becomes President until the end of the term, That’s it. The only way for the President of the NA to become President pro tempore would be if both the President and VP are out of office, because historical or consuetudinal law becomes available if positive law cannot solve the issue.

  4. shrillary clinton Says:

    someone please answer a question for me….i just saw yet again in the news that that Hugo was a former paratrooper….really? anyone have any idea how many jumps chubby cheeks did? Somehow I dont see the Venz military using paratroopers in any capacity. Training where? Fort Bragg?

  5. Boludo Tejano Says:

    What would the odds of there being a time lag of days or even months between Thugo’s death in Cuba and the announcement of his death? Could the Castro brothers come up with someone who could do a passable impersonation of Thugo?

    I am reminded of the death of Oliver Cromwell, who ruled England for about a decade after Charles I was overthrown and decapitated. His son and successor had neither the ability nor the desire to rule as the Great Protector, so he abdicated after a short term in office. The monarchy was restored, albeit with changes. But the Fourth Republic with AD and Copei is not coming back, so the comparison is limited.

    • Kepler Says:

      There are enough recordings of Chávez to create a quite remarkable Text-to-speech system with his voice. In fact: one only needs about 60 hours of varied speech to produce a voice that would convince the owner’s mother.
      But Venezuelans are so gossipy…no way.

  6. Carolina Says:

    Miguel, your birthday is in April? 🙂

  7. jau Says:

    Maduro ha dicho una palabra despues del anuncio???

    La dedocracia lo nombra sucesor y nadie le pide su opinion, su estrategia… algo? No veo como pueda sobrevivir mas de unos meses en el poder, a pesar de tener al sebin y sobretodo al g4 ayudandolo.

    Las bases del chavismo estan molestas porque chavez les puso a dedo los candidatos a gobernadores, esto es aun peor. Quien dice que los chavistas van a aceptar a maduro como su nuevo lider. Nadie les ha preguntado a ellos.

    La verdad que me impresiona lo exageradamente enamorado de si mismo que esta chavez, este tipo cree que es dios. Que tipo tan anormalmente irresponsable.

    Con chavez fuera, la oposicion tiene que exigirle al cne y a las fuerzas armadas, entre otros, elecciones justas. Sin chavez la oposicion tiene que meterse por las grietas que seguro se van a abrir. Si vamos a elecciones en las mismas condiciones del 7O… no creo que nos vaya nada bien.

  8. expat Says:

    > The country still does not know the full truth of what is going on.

    The power grab ends on Dec 16, luego viene el paquetazo. What else is new?

  9. Bruni Says:

    That was not exactly the prediction. Miguel’s prediction was to watch for changes in the Vicepresidency, because it was a sign that the end would be closer. It happened after the elections. That was a sign and everybody should have taken the hint then….

  10. concerned Says:

    This is cuba’s choice for puppet, and maybe not Venezuela’s. Maduro should not get too comfortable as there is no honor among thieves. The next few months will probably look more like a pack of stray dogs fighting over a chicken bone in the street than an organized democratic solution.

  11. Pipo Says:

    Devil, I still remember what you predicted .. When Chavez designate MAduro as his heir then we could think Chaves end its very close… Only hope that the opposition holds its strength until then.

  12. Luisa Mosquera Says:

    Where is Venezuela’s Gold Bullion? I would not be surprised if on every trip there is a ton or two travelling with Chavez to Cuba.. Where are the Photojournalists and serious investigative reporters of this country???

  13. Bill S. Says:

    Who would have thought that Fidel would outlive Chavez. But it sure looks like that will be the case.

  14. HalfEmpty Says:

    Looks like the Bond market was right again.

  15. Roger Says:

    We seem to be on the verge of Chavezimo without Chavez. I have the feeling that not everyone in the government will be happy about his picking a bus driver. It also makes me wonder who’s dark hand will be pulling his strings. Regardless, this is a populist government and if he can’t cadena like Chavez, with all the excuses and promise the moon, he won’t last long.

    • Glenn Says:

      That’s a good point. And how long will someone last if they can only blame the faults of the country on their predecessor? That would not go over with the 55%.

  16. Ronaldo Says:

    Chavez did not lie. He truly believed that his cancer was gone. Chavez thinks that he is so powerful that he always gets what he wants. God thinks otherwise.

  17. Bruni Says:

    Mick, concentrating on the fact that he was lying about his cancer will get us nowhere. We must concentrate on preparing for what is coming and on being united in the event of an election.

  18. Mick Says:

    How does he keep all the lies straight?, Oh, that’s right, 55% of Venezuelans would believe anything He says, no matter how ridiculous. It is too bad that the Zealots will only harden their faith when the facts come to light.

  19. deananash Says:

    expat, don’t be so cruel. I wish Hugo a speedy journey to his final and just rewards.

  20. Bruni Says:

    To me, there are two clear messages in his speech.

    1.- That the Constitutional rule must be followed
    2.- That he wants Maduro to be elected.

    There was a clear warning in what he was saying. Like he was reminding everybody of what is the Constitutional rule in case someone had another idea.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      I am still astonished that no move was made to alter the constitution after October 7th. Everyone within the inner circle of Chavez knew what was going~on, yet no effort was made to ‘guarantee’ a 6 year term for the PSUV. The BIG NEWS tonight is that there is little doubt that a new election is imminent, 90 days at most.

      • Bruni Says:

        I always knew that those were just rumors. In fact, what amazed me was that those rumors were so persistent among the opposition that even yesterday there were still serious people assuming that chavismo would try to change the constitution to let Maduro stay in automatically.

        The fact is that it is not that easy to organize a constitutional referendum, it takes time and effort and a loss would have been devastating for chavismo.

        On the other hand, given Chávez terminal illness, the current situation is not so bad for them, after all. It implies a new election, while still in power, thus, while still having all the resources at hand, and right after having won a presidential election. On top of that, it will be an election with the psychological charge of a beloved leader expressing his last wishes. Unless the opposition is ready to put its act together in a very short time and convince the people of Venezuela that change is good, we will have Maduro for 6 years without changing the Constitution.

        So for Chavismo, it is a good plan B. …Fidel has not been in power more than 50 years for nothing….The guy can think.

  21. expat Says:

    Hugo should survive his scheduled operation. He will survive many future interventions. He will live on for years. He will endure pains and sufferings.
    May God grant him trials that will rival the biblical Job.

    • loroferoz Says:

      No! Please, think of Venezuela. Only if he does all of that outside of public view. We want him OUT. Not to suffer. Particularly if those poor gullible souls called chavistas, and us along those religulous fanatics, have to take part in the suffering.

  22. ErneX Says:

    I want to say hi to all the naysayers that thought he was either cured or not sick at all.

    • Carolina Says:

      Hi back. 🙂
      I’m still having problems believing all this episode. Just about a month ago I told a friend “vamos aver que inventa el tipo justo antes de las elecciones de gobernadores”.
      And then this happens…not too different than what he has done before, except naming Maduro as candidate if something happens to him. The rest is the same. There is the photos of people crying, praying, praising the strength of their hero, etc, etc. Same old story to keep people very distracted from the elections in a week.
      I feel I’m living the fable of the wolf and the liar. Chavez is a liar. He lied to the country saying he was cured and running for president and now he lies about that this came as a surprise.
      I will only believe him when I see him in the casket.
      Meanwhile people, stay focus on winning the governor’s elections…

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