It may happen that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not be able to complete the construction of the “21st century socialism in his country”. Chavez has again arrived in Cuba to undergo a cancer surgery. This will be his fourth surgery since 2011. “Socialist No. 1” in Latin America has already undergone chemical therapy and radiotherapy in Havana Regrettably, the forecasts are not comforting. And although the Cuban medicine is considered to be the best in the Western Hemisphere, it is rather doubtful that Cuban doctors will be able to perform a miracle.
The exact diagnosis is kept in secret. However, taking into account indirect signs, experts are making sorrowful forecasts. Hugo Chavez is incurable, and his cancer has gone into its final stage. Some of them say that Chavez has 2 to 3 months to live while others say that he will not live more than 2 years with the loss of capability of performing his duties though. A Venezuelan doctor, Jose Rafael Marquina who lives in the USA, is sure that the Venezuelan President has only a few months to live and that the fatal end will occur next April.
An independent Russian expert on Latin America, Mikhail Belyat, also says that the end is near.
"The fourth cancer surgery is really a bad sign. Most likely, the result will be sorrowful. If not immediately, then very soon. It is very likely that Venezuela will face early presidential elections, and the opposition has a real chance to win. In this case, unpleasant things will start occurring in the country."
And the fact that before flying to Cuba Chavez officially named his successor offers proof that the situation is really very serious. The 50-year-old Vice President and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro is due to become the President of Venezuela. True, it is very difficult to imagine how this can happen. The Venezuelan Constitution does not provide for succession as such. If a president dies or is unable to perform his duties, Venezuela must hold presidential elections within 30 days. Hugo Chavez has been running the country for 14 years now. He once again won the presidential elections in October this year. The official inauguration is due to be held on January 10th, 2013.
Opposition representatives have already said that there were no constitutional grounds for the appointment of a successor and that new elections would be a deciding factor. Such warnings made amid the illness of Hugo Chavez are an alarming sign. Opposition representatives say they want no successor at all, which means that stability in Venezuela that has the largest proven oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere will be put under threat.
A possible demise of Chavez may not result in a civil war but will destabilize the situation in Venezuela, a Russian political analyst, Alexei Chernyayev says.
"The main problem with Chavez is that he does not have a successor who can hold power in case of his death or early resignation. All those who are named now are weak politicians and do not enjoy great authority to continue Chavez’ policy."
The opposition has strengthened its positions in Venezuela. At the presidential elections on October 7th its candidate Henrique Capriles gained 44 per cent of the vote. The opposition has never achieved such a great success during the Chavez rule.