More Health Problems for Chavez

Via the BBC:  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez suffers new severe infection

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said Mr Chavez’s condition continued to be very delicate.


Speaking from the Caracas military hospital where Mr Chavez is being treated, Mr Villegas said: “Today there is a worsening of respiratory function.”

He said Mr Chavez was undergoing “intensive chemotherapy, as well as complementary treatments”.

“The commander-president remains clinging to Christ and to life, conscious of the difficulties that he is facing, and complying strictly with the programme designed by his medical team,” Mr Villegas said.

Mr Chavez, who has been in office for 14 years, is believed to have cancer in his pelvic area, but his exact illness has never been disclosed.

First, the phrase “clinging to Christ and to life” yet again underscores the interesting populism of chavizismo, which taps into Christianity as much as it does nay number of other philosophical and ideological sources.

Second, I can’t help but think, given the general lack of transparency that has permeated this situation, that releasing information of this type means that Chavez is even worse off than just having a respiratory infection.  This, of course, leads one to wonder how much longer he will last.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter