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December 10, 2012

Chavez heads back to Cuba for cancer surgery, leaving questions in his wake

News has a way of breaking into your holiday. I've been on furlough for the last week, but had to rush home as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that he was returning to Cuba for more surgery to treat his cancer.

This is his second relapse and fourth surgery, and it raises an interesting question: how was his health - really - when he was on the campaign trail just a few weeks ago and telling crowds that he was completely cured?

On Sunday, his rival in the Oct. 7 presidential race, which Chavez won with a commanding 55 percent of the vote, said many people had voted for the presdient  because they had been reassured that he was healthy enough to take office Jan. 10 and fulfill the six-year term.

Did Chavez know his cancer had returned while he was still on the trail? Did he put his health at risk to win the election? We'll likely never know, but they're interesting questions.

At any rate. Here's a video of Chavez leaving for Havana early this morning. And here's the story Andrew Rosati and I wrote last night about the reaction in Caracas.

When things slow down, I want to tell you about this place and these trees:




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jim wyss

Inside South America is written by Jim Wyss, the South America bureau chief for the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers.

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