Mon, Feb 18, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Chavez pictures cheer supporters but doubts linger

CHANGING ROLE:Though Chavez supporters say the images indicate his recovery, others say that the increased visibility of the vice president is a sign that all is not well

AFP, CARACAS

Chavez is “a good ways” from a full recovery, he said, without venturing a date for the president’s return to Venezuela.

Chavez was easily re-elected to a six-year term in October last year, but was too sick to make to his Jan. 10 inauguration, which has been indefinitely postponed.

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, handpicked by Chavez to succeed him if he is incapacitated, is in charge of running the government day to day.

“On one hand, there are the photographs of Chavez and the possibility that he returns — or doesn’t — to the helm,” Avalos said.

“On the other, one sees Vice President Maduro in the midst of what is more or less an election campaign,” he said.

“He inaugurates public works, speaks on television, and that points to a campaign to position someone who was not so visible before,” Avalos added.

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