Chavez calling the shots again
VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez's condition is improving and
he is already “giving instructions” from his bed in Havana as he
continues to recover from cancer surgery, a cabinet member said Sunday.
The announcement came as Venezuelans cast ballots in gubernatorial
elections overshadowed by concerns over Chavez, who was re-elected to
another six-year term in October despite fears he had not overcome the
disease. “As of yesterday, El Comandante had already resumed
communicating with us, giving instructions, governing in fact, giving
instructions to be implemented in our country,” said Science and
Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza.
“He continues to recover, positively, day after day, hour after
hour,” Arreaza, husband of Chavez's eldest daughter, said in a phone
call broadcast on state television. Both have been at the president's
side in Havana.
The president “urged all Venezuelans, especially patriotic ones... to
exercise their duty and right to vote today to consolidate all the areas
that will help us keep moving forward on social justice,” the minister
The voting for the 23 state governors of the country with the world's
largest proven oil reserves is a key test for Henrique Capriles, the
opposition leader Chavez beat in presidential elections in October.
Capriles -- governor of populous Miranda state, which includes part of
Caracas -- is seeking re-election and a consolidated status as leader of
an array of parties that oppose Chavez, a garrulous former paratrooper
who has thoroughly dominated this nation since first being elected in
Arreaza had already declared in the run-up to the elections on
Saturday that 58-year-old Chavez was “mentally fully fit” and that his
health was “improving” after six hours of surgery on Tuesday.