Is it wrong to pray for the death of a vicious bastard like Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez? It’s premature to put this news in the category of answered prayers, but we’re heading in that direction.
Yesterday Chavez confirmed that the rumored recurrence of his cancer is a fact, and that he is returning to the Communist museum of Cuba for more surgery. Reuters purports to have a pipeline into the mentality of Chavez supporters who are said to be all choked up about the announcement:
Supporters prepared to gather in city squares across the South American country, shocked and saddened by the news from the 58-year-old socialist leader, who made the announcement in a late-night broadcast on Saturday from the presidential palace.
In the clearest indicator yet that Chavez’s health problems could spell an end to his tumultuous years at the helm of the OPEC nation, he said supporters should vote for Vice President Nicolas Maduro if a new election had to be held.
“It is absolutely necessary, absolutely essential, that I undergo a new surgical intervention,” the president said in his speech, flanked by ashen-faced ministers.
“With God’s will, like on the previous occasions, we will come out of this victorious. I have complete faith in that.”
Chavez must have the example of Fidel Castro in mind, a bastard even more vicious than he. Castro is still kicking at age 86. So far as we know, however, Castro has never invoked God’s will to handle his case and hightailed it to Spain for his own medical treatment.
Chavez named a successor in his announcement last night, so there must be reasonable grounds for hoping that his condition is dire:
For the first time, in a surprise admission he might not be able to govern for as long as he hopes, he singled out long-time ally Maduro as his candidate.
“He is a complete revolutionary, a man of great experience despite his youth, with great dedication and capacity for work,” Chavez said. “In a scenario where they were obliged to hold a new presidential election, you should choose Nicolas Maduro.”
Reuters has the financial angle covered as well:
Venezuela’s widely traded bonds are likely to soar when markets open on Monday on expectations that Chavez’s renewed illness will pave the way for a more market-friendly government. Its bonds have been among the most profitable of any emerging market paper this year, largely due to Chavez’s weak health.
If true, there are more prayers than mine that are operative here.