Chavez’s po­lit­i­cal heir tries to fill void

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT -

Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez’s can­cer re­lapse and his sud­den an­nounce­ment that he will un­dergo an­other can­cer-re­lated surgery in Cuba have thrown the coun­try’s fu­ture into ques­tion, and his des­ig­nated po­lit­i­cal heir has be­gun try­ing to fill the void. Un­der­lin­ing the grav­ity of the sit­u­a­tion, Vice Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro broke into tears on Mon­day at a po­lit­i­cal rally hours af­ter Chavez flew to Ha­vana. Chavez plans to un­dergo his third op­er­a­tion in about a year and a half to re­move can­cer­ous tis­sue. An ini­tial surgery for a pelvic ab­scess in June 2011 helped re­veal he had can­cer. He has also un­der­gone chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion treat­ments.

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