The loss of el Presidente would be a grave blow to . . . well, the Chavistas.
Today, in surprising fashion, the Venezuelan National Assembly authorized President Hugo Chávez to seek treatment for his ailments in Cuba, under Article 235 of the Venezuelan Constitution which says that any absence of more than five days from the country has to be approved by the Assembly. This is different than a temporal absence, in which the Vice President replaces him. (Art. 234), which Chávez has refused to do ever since he started receiving treatment in Cuba for his mysterious ailment.
According to the letter sent by Chávez to the National Assembly, he will receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber for “oxygenation”, a treatment which according to the American Cancer Society is used for treating bone damage caused during radiation treatment or to treat infections of soft tissue which are causing necrosis. Chávez has said that he has received chemotherapy, but has never formally acknolewdged being treated with radiation, although…
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