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January 16, 2013

Venezuela: Is this Chavez signature proof of life?

As most people know, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez hasn’t been seen or heard from since he traveled to Cuba on Dec. 10 to undergo another round of surgery for an undisclosed form of cancer.

His prolonged silence has fueled all sorts of rumors that he was in an induced coma, on life support, etc. Those suspicions only grew deeper last week when Chávez purportedly wrote to the National Assembly to say that he would not be at his Jan. 10 inauguration. That letter, however, was not signed by Chávez, but by his VP Maduro. 

But now a Chávez signature has turned up. On Tuesday, Maduro said the ailing president had appointed Elías Jaua as his new foreign minister. Today, VTV has running with this image of the Official Gazette, which show’s the president’s signature as part of the Jaua designation. 

Still, most people want to see or hear their leader, but this does seem to support the  administration’s claims that Chávez is making a recovery. 


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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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